Jim Sciutto’s got plenty of nothing

In the tweet at the bottom of this post CNN reporter Jim Sciutto seeks to correct President Trump’s assertion that the Steele/Trump dossier remains unverified by the FBI. Readers with a long memory may recall that, according to last week’s James Rosen/Jake Gibson Fox News report, FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe testified that the bureau had confirmed only one meeting of Carter Page in Russia. Beyond that, however, according to Byron York and, most recently, Rowan Scarborough, FBI and Justice Department officials have told congressional investigators that they have not been able to verify or corroborate the substantive allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign outlined in the Trump dossier. These reports support the gist of Trump’s assertion.

Sciutto begs to disagree. He cites his story (with Evan Perez) dating from early this year. Taking a look at the story, however, one discovers the vacuity of Sciutto’s argument. He and Perez reported:

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.

But the intercepts do confirm that some of the conversations described in the dossier took place between the same individuals on the same days and from the same locations as detailed in the dossier, according to the officials. CNN has not confirmed whether any content relates to then-candidate Trump.

The corroboration, based on intercepted communications, has given US intelligence and law enforcement “greater confidence” in the credibility of some aspects of the dossier as they continue to actively investigate its contents, these sources say.

It’s almost funny. Where’s the beef? To borrow the words of the Gershwin song, Sciutto has plenty of nothing. If Sciutto’s intelligence sources have something, they aren’t entrusting Sciutto with it. And, one might add, he’s long overdue for an update.

To be continued…


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