CNN’s exclusive report on the Russians possibly having compromising information about Donald Trump had convinced some that the inauguration couldn’t possibly take place as scheduled. An hour later, though, after reading a secret dossier on Trump published by BuzzFeed, people were joking about whether #GoldenShowers or #GoldenGate should be the trending hashtag.
BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith shared on Twitter a memo sent to staffers explaining why the site had rushed out the dossier, noting (after publication) that there was “serious reason to doubt the allegations” contained in it and claiming BuzzFeed had been “chasing specific claims in this document for weeks.” Chasing, not catching, mind you.
The damning information wasn’t new to many reporters who’d seen it shopped around during the campaign but chose to pass. Even Mother Jones’ David Corn, who leaked the secret Mitt Romney video, stayed clear.
Even though the more salacious bits got the most play on social media, there were serious allegations in the dossier, including an allegation that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen had met with Russian operatives in Prague. Cohen’s response was to the point:
That loose end seemed easy enough to chase down.