CNN says that U.S. investigators are corroborating certain parts of the dossier that was the focus of their report that angered the Trump administration in January and precipitated a feud between the network and the president.
For the first time, US investigators say they have corroborated some of the communications detailed in a 35-page dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent, multiple current and former US law enforcement and intelligence officials tell CNN. As CNN first reported, then-President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama were briefed on the existence of the dossier prior to Trump's inauguration.
None of the newly learned information relates to the salacious allegations in the dossier. Rather it relates to conversations between foreign nationals. The dossier details about a dozen conversations between senior Russian officials and other Russian individuals. Sources would not confirm which specific conversations were intercepted or the content of those discussions due to the classified nature of US intelligence collection programs.
The corroboration gives officials "greater confidence" that the dossier is accurate as they continue the investigation into its veracity, according to sources to CNN.
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) February 10, 2017
When asked to comment on this new development, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded, "We continue to be disgusted by CNN's fake news reporting." This has been the line from the White House since the original reporting when Trump railed against the network and his allies attacked and boycotted CNN in a contentious rhetorical battle.
CNN says Spicer called them back later and offered a more complete statement.
This is more fake news. It is about time CNN focused on the success the President has had bringing back jobs, protecting the nation, and strengthening relationships with Japan and other nations. The President won the election because of his vision and message for the nation.
CNN has tried to distance itself from the "Buzzfeed dossier" which was released soon after the CNN report but was roundly criticized in journalistic corners as being below standard ethical industry practices. Buzzfeed is being sued for publishing the report that had very salacious accusations against Trump.
Trump has since given critics more reason to accuse him of being too easy on Putin and the Russians when he said in an interview with Bill O'Reilly that America was just as murderous as Putin's Russia is. He was criticized for the comments by both left and right sides of the aisle, while Putin demanded an apology from O'Reilly for calling him a "killer."
Six U.S. agencies are investigating the possibility that Russia gave secret aid towards Trump's campaign to win the presidential election. Meanwhile some Republicans have come out against the alleged Russian tampering in our election, especially Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).