CNN reporter claims Republicans also paid for anti-Trump dossier — but here are the facts

CNN reporter claims Republicans also paid for anti-Trump dossier — but here are the facts
A CNN reporter falsely claimed on air Tuesday that Republicans helped pay for the ant-Trump dossier produced by Fusion GPS. However, the facts say otherwise. (Getty Images/ David McNew)

A CNN reporter mistakenly claimed on air Tuesday that the infamous so-called “anti-Trump” dossier was first paid for by Republicans only to be later paid for by Democrats.

What happened?

CNN’s justice correspondent Evan Perez was on air discussing a tweet from President Donald Trump when he made the error. Trump on Tuesday tweeted that the dossier is a “Crooked Hillary pile of garbage” that has been used as the “basis for going after the Trump campaign.”

Perez said:

Look, the fact is that the dossier was compiled as part of opposition research, first paid for by Republicans who were opposed to Donald Trump and then later on by Democrats and the Clinton camp, people associated with the Clinton campaign who wanted to try to bring him down.

However, that isn’t accurate. Perez stated correctly that Democrats paid for the dossier, but the document did not originate from GOP pockets.

What are the facts?

The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news outlet, revealed in October they had hired Fusion GPS — the research firm that produced the dossier — during the 2016 Republican primary season to initiate research on the GOP candidates. This is normal for newsrooms that don’t have full-time researchers.

The Free Beacon retained Fusion from the fall of 2015 to the spring of 2016. The outlet’s research covered multiple GOP candidates, not just Trump, and was rooted in public knowledge, nothing of which was later found in the dossier. The research also had nothing to do with Russia, which was the central theme of the dossier.

It was later in the spring of 2016, after the Free Beacon ended its retainer with Fusion, that the Democratic National Committee hired Fusion to do the research on Trump that eventually led to the dossier. The Free Beacon’s work and the DNC’s work were unconnected.

All of this information was presented to the House Intelligence Committee in October.

Still, that hasn’t stopped CNN from repeatedly making the claim that Republicans are also responsible for the dossier, the Daily Caller noted.