October 19, 2021

British Spy Fiction

We’re not talking about the new James Bond movie, or Austin Powers, but Christopher Steele’s dossier interview.

Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy who authored the famed “dossier” on Russia’s supposed collusion with Donald Trump, interviewed with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos to “set the record straight” on his infamy. It’s the first time he’s been interviewed since that dossier was constructed and leaked. But before we get to that interview, let’s start with a brief but sweeping recap.

The name Christopher Steele wasn’t known until January 2017, but his work on the so-called “dossier” about Russian interference in American elections, primarily involving what Democrats wanted us to think was Donald Trump’s collusion with Vladimir Putin to win the election, fueled much of the 2016 debate.

The Washington Post, of all places, exposed that it was Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democrat National Committee that funded Steele’s dossier. (Technically, it was Clinton’s campaign paying a law firm to pay Fusion GPS to pay Steele, all to keep Hillary’s hands a little cleaner.) Of course, the Post waited until October 2017 to reveal what many already suspected. Clinton paid for opposition research to look like an intelligence report, which was then fed to the Leftmedia so Clinton could point to media reports as evidence that Trump was corrupt. Those accusations put Trump under FBI scrutiny, with Steele as the FBI’s informant, all in an attempt to deflect from Clinton’s own troubles over that pesky illegal email server.

It was arguably the most clever orchestration of what the Clintons used to decry as the “politics of personal destruction” in the history of U.S. presidential elections. Even though the scheme didn’t get Hillary elected, that fraud hamstrung President Trump and sowed the seeds for later impeaching him — for what Joe Biden actually did. Ultimately, it kept a cloud over Trump’s entire presidency.

So, as with Clinton’s water carriers at The Washington Post, it’s ironic that Stephanopoulos, of all people, would now expose Steele as a fraud. Stephanopoulos served as the Clinton administration’s communications director and adviser before moving to ABC and … holding essentially the same role.

To be sure, Stephanopoulos didn’t mean to expose Steele as a fraud, but for those who see through the charade, it was all too obvious.

Stephanopoulos dutifully tried to help Steele weave a dramatic tale of being the “spy who stepped out of the shadows” — suspiciously timed, we might add, to coincide with another dramatic Hollywood tale about a British spy. In fact, Stephanopoulos shamelessly compared the two. But the result was a woebegone story that belies an extreme case of victimitis.

“I don’t think we ever really appreciated what a big and enduring story this would be,” Steele crowed. “It’s been amazing, particularly in the U.S., to see that throughout the four years of the Trump presidency, my name, my company’s name, and so on, have been in the mainstream media almost every single day.”

But then somehow he seems a bit, shall we say, put off that not everyone thought he was an honest chap.

“Because the vitriol and the things that people have said about us and our motivations and our work are so far-fetched and untrue,” Steele opined, “I thought it was important to come and set the record straight.” Stephanopoulos sympathized with poor Christopher for the mean things Trump and others said about him while his fabrication nearly ruined a presidency.

“It made me appreciate what impact on my family and my children my professional work could have,” Steele reflected. “And that that impact wasn’t always positive.”

Here’s a life hack for Mr. Steele: Don’t lie about big things, and you won’t have to deal with such impact.

In the face of a mountain of evidence discrediting his work, and despite admitting that “not everything in the dossier is 100%,” Steele still believes that the infamous and salacious “pee tape” he referenced “probably does” exist. Ultimately, he says, “I stand by the work we did.”

Stephanopoulos, desperate for relevance and ratings, tried to make a blockbuster out of a dud. He probably stands by the work he did too, but that doesn’t make either product any good.

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