I’ve finished reading all three hundred pages of the newly released testimony from the company behind the Trump-Russia dossier, and remarkably, I didn’t learn anything new. Trump is being blackmailed by Russia. Trump has ties to organized crime. People have been murdered in the name of covering up the Trump-Russia scandal. These are all things that Palmer Report and others have been reporting for the past year. Yet these new transcripts have somehow managed to blow the Trump-Russia scandal wide open anyway.
All you have to do is turn on the television and watch how the scandal is now being covered, to see that these transcripts have indeed changed everything. I’ve spent all day trying to put my finger on why. Sure, respected Senator Dianne Feinstein threw her considerable weight behind the assertions made in the transcript, but it’s not as if this was her own testimony or research. She only published this because she felt the public deserved to know what the Trump-Russia dossier company had told Congress behind closed doors. But this is still the same Trump-Russia dossier we’ve all had for a year. This testimony doesn’t even add anything new to it. Yet still, something has changed.
Of all the strange aspects of the Trump-Russia scandal to date, by far the strangest has been the mainstream media’s personal hatred for the Trump-Russia dossier. Major news outlets initially refused to touch the dossier at all, then only reluctantly covered it once it leaked, but even then it was only with the constant qualifier that it was “unverified” or worse. Meanwhile, those same news outlets have routinely and often gleefully reported aspects of the Trump-Russia scandal that were far less credible, with no disclaimers of any kind.
Maybe the media has just been throwing a tantrum for the past year because it felt embarrassed after initially considering the dossier to have been unimportant, only to be proven wrong. But whatever the reason, today’s transcripts – while giving us no new information, and frankly not doing anything to further “verify” what’s already been independently verified – have managed to change the entire framing of the scandal.
Perhaps the transcripts have simply given the mainstream media an excuse to hit the reset button on its approach to the Trump-Russia dossier. In any case, the dossier is now considered the gold standard by the media, which means mainstream America will quickly come to see it the same way. Everything changed today about how the Trump-Russia scandal is perceived, even though we didn’t learn anything new. That’s the strangest development in the scandal yet.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report