A program funded by prominent leftists including George Soros and Rob Reiner regularly pitches “research” to reporters about “the Russia collusion theory” and other anti-Trump topics, reports RealClearInvestigations.
A months-long examination by investigative reporter Paul Sperry found that the project, once shrouded in mystery, is “an elaborate media-influence operation that includes driving and shaping daily coverage of the Russia collusion theory, as well as pushing stories about Trump in the national media that attempt to tie the president or his associates to the Kremlin.”
It all involves key Democrat operatives and others “who tried to derail Donald Trump’s campaign by claiming he was a tool of the Kremlin.”
The operatives “have rebooted their operation since his election with a multimillion-dollar stealth campaign to persuade major media outlets and lawmakers that the president should be impeached.”
Sperry found that the moneyed elite in the program have “successfully placed a series of questionable stories alleging secret back channels and meetings between Trump associates and Russian spies, while influencing related investigations and reports from Congress.”
The nerve center is the Democracy Integrity Project in Washington, TDIP, which delivers “research” to prominent Washington journalists at outlets such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, ProPublica, McClatchy, CNN and MSNBC.
TDIP is led by Daniel J. Jones, a former FBI investigator, Clinton administration volunteer and top staffer to California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
“It employs the key opposition-research figures behind the salacious and unverified dossier: Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele,” Sperry wrote.
Its financial backers include the Hollywood actor and director Reiner and billionaire activist Soros.
Steele and Simpson, funded by the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign created the “dossier” of unsubstantiated claims about then-candidate Trump during the 2016 election. The Obama Justice Department and FBI then used as it as evidence to obtain a court order to spy on Trump’s campaign.
RealClearInvestigations documented how the group feeds information to the FBI and congressional investigators then tells reporters “authorities” are investigating.
The report said the “dossier” and impeachment are daily themes in the “tips” that the group provides to reporters.
“A March 13 TDIP bulletin, for instance, highlighted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s sentencing without informing readers that Special Counsel Robert Mueller closed the case without any collusion accusation against Manafort, who was punished for personal financial crimes,” Sperry wrote.
“Jones’ project doesn’t just spin the news. Its more ambitious goal is to make news by essentially continuing the Clinton-funded investigation into alleged Trump/Russia ties that began in 2016, and then sharing findings with news outlets, congressional investigators and federal agents,” Sperry found.
The links all are there, the report said, with Jones hiring Fusion GPS and Steele to “dig up dirt on the president.”
“Simpson and Steele have a history of feeding the FBI and Congress unsubstantiated allegations and rumors, sending investigators down rabbit holes. They have also planted several anti-Trump stories in the media that have proved unverifiable, unfounded, or just plain false,” the report said.
One was a McClatchy report claiming “NRA attorney Cleta Mitchell” warned during the 2016 campaign that Russians had infiltrated the NRA and were using it to launder illegal donations to Trump.
A “complete fabrication,” Mitchell confirmed.
“Jones has also communicated with investigators for Sen. Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, hoping to spread more Trump-Russia conspiracy theories,” the report said.
“In a series of recently leaked March 2017 texts to a lawyer communicating with Warner, Jones boasted that he had planted several anti-Trump news articles, including a Reuters story about Russians allegedly investing more than $100 million in Trump properties in Florida. He took credit for another article published by McClatchy alleging that the FBI was investigating whether Russians had used social media bots to spread stories by Breitbart News and other conservative outlets,” the report continued.
RCI reported Jones and others did not return phone calls or emails asking for comment.
The investigation found other leftist connections, including TDIP’s work with New Knowledge, which was funded by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, who donated to a campaign that used Russian media strategies to influence the 2018 election against the GOP.
That was after it “was secretly involved in its own disinformation campaign to influence the outcome of the 2017 Alabama Senate special election. New Knowledge operatives created thousands of fake Russian Twitter accounts programmed to follow GOP candidate Roy Moore to make it appear he was backed by Moscow.”
Jones actually registered the TDIP as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, claiming it’s mission is “non-partisan.”
Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh commenting on Sperry’s report on his show Wednesday.
He noted the “original Trump-Russia collusion theory or story came from a totally made-up piece of crap called the Steele dossier.”
“It then became known as ‘the Trump dossier,’ then just simply ‘the dossier.’ And it was all of these unverifiable, uncorroborated articles of supposed intelligence linking Trump to Russia,” he said. “And of course, the big one was the golden showers story in which Trump found – when he was in Moscow at a hotel – that Obama had slept on that same bed in that same room and so Trump promptly hired some prostitutes to come over and urinate on the bed.”
Limbaugh explained how the allegations were weaponized by the Obama administration.
Former FBI Director James Comey briefed President Trump on the claims, saying, “You need to know the kind of things our foreign adversaries are saying about you.”
Trump called it insanity and said he didn’t have to be told, Limbaugh noted.
“Comey didn’t care about that. He called [former DNI James] Clapper on the way out of the White House and said, ‘Mission accomplished.’ Clapper then called CNN and says, ‘Trump has now seen the dossier!’ So CNN begins an ‘investigation’ of the dossier, BuzzFeed since publishes it, and then CNN ended up getting a Pulitzer Prize for their story on how Trump became aware of the dossier. It was a total put-up job. That dossier was Hillary Clinton opposition research.”
When that failed to unseat Trump, Limbaugh said, the Mueller investigation was launched.
It is all of those players, Limbaugh pointed out, who now are in the TDIP project attacking Trump again.
“In other words, they are producing lies. They are producing total B.S. to keep the ”collusion’ narrative alive,’ even though the dossier has bombed out and even though the Mueller investigating hasn’t found any collusion,” Limbaugh said.
“So these dummkopf, sponge reporters take it for gospel what these people say they’ve got and then they run with it, and this ends up being source material for ‘the investigation into Trump-Russia collusion.'”