Trump Tries To Combat Salacious Report With Link To Fake News And Conspiracy Website

Trump Tries To Combat Salacious Report With Link To Fake News And Conspiracy Website

The Unverified ‘Trump Dossier’ Elicited An Equally Controversial Response

Reaction to CNN’s bombshell report that intelligence officials presented both President Barack Obama and President-Elect Donald Trump with allegations that Russia has “compromising personal and financial information” on Trump has dominated an unusually busy news cycle. CNN’s initial reporting, along with Buzzfeed’s decision to publish the full “unverified” 35-page report have left journalists, politicians and the American public scrambling to make sense of these grave allegations. While earlier reports that the dossier was an elaborate hoax traced back to the website 4chan appear to have been discredited, it’s vital to remember that the validity of both the full report and two-page synopsis have yet to be confirmed.  

That hasn’t stopped Trump from declaring the item to be “Fake News”, however. The president-elect called the story to be a “Witch Hunt” less than two hours after it broke:

Trump then dipped his toe in some dangerous waters, however. In attempting to discredit Buzzfeed’s report, he himself cited a website known to push conspiracy theories and fake news:

RELATED: British Spy Alleges Russia Has Compromising Information On Trump

The site declaring Buzzfeed’s publication, Lifezette, is owned by conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham. Ingraham has been a vocal Trump supporter, but more importantly, the site itself has published many dubious claims. The Intercept reported on Lifezette’s loose relationship with facts in November of 2016. Among their chief findings:

One video produced by LifeZette this summer, ominously titled “Clinton Body Count,” promoted a conspiracy theory that the Clinton family hadsome role in the plane crash death of John F. Kennedy, Jr., as well as the deaths of various friends and Democrats.

Another LifeZette video, picking up false claims from other sites, claimed that voting machines “might be compromised” because a voting machine company called Smartmatic, allegedly providing voting machines “in sixteen states,” was purchased by the liberal billionaire George Soros. Sorosnever purchased the company, and Smartmatic did not provide voting machines used in the general election.

One LifeZette article misleadingly claimed that the United Nations backed a “secret” Obama administration takeover of local police departments.


Another LifeZette article, which went viral in the week prior to the election, falsely claimed that Wikileaks had revealed that a senior Hillary Clinton campaign official had engaged in occult rituals.


Again, Reverb Press stresses the fact that this report is not verified. That does not alter the reality that Trump chose to cite a routinely debunked source as his initial defense to the breaking news. We all must be skeptical of this dossier until it is either proven or disproven. Yet sites like Lifezette are unlikely to play any role in making that decision.



Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images News and Donald J. Trump on 

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Ed Hanratty is a Reverb Press contributor and freelance political journalist. A lifelong New Jerseyan, he prides himself on having just enough Garden State sarcasm and skepticism to keep his bleeding heart in check. Keep up with Ed’s work and random ramblings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the links below…but not Snapchat — that’s where he’s decided to draw the social media line. (For Now)