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N.Y. Times finally admits Trump ‘dossier’ was fake

Claims by former spy Christopher Steele ‘have been proved false’

The New York Times was a major promoter of the now debunked Trump-Russia election conspiracy narrative, which featured the infamous “Steele dossier” of outlandish and salacious claims about President Trump.

Republican investigators turned up evidence that the document compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele was an opposition-research project funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee. What’s more, ironically, it was based largely on Russian propaganda fed to Steele by a single source.

Now, the Times has published a feature by former Times investigative report Barry Meier acknowledging many of the claims in the dossier “have never materialized or have been proved false.”

Meier said he knocked on the door of Steele’s home in Farnham, England, in his research of a book on the business of private intelligence. During the 2016 presidential campaign,  he recalled, Steele had been hired by an investigative firm called Fusion GPS “to gather dirt about Donald J. Trump and Russia.”

At that time, Meier wrote, those “involved with the dossier were intent on controlling its narrative and eager to capitalize on their fame.”

Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, the founders of Fusion GPS, wrote a best-selling book about the dossier that became a best seller. Steele sold his life rights to a Hollywood studio owned by George Clooney.

But the glow has faded, he said, noting the collapse of the dossier’s “most explosive claims — like a salacious ‘pee’ tape featuring Mr. Trump or a supposed meeting in Prague between Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former attorney, and Russian operatives.”