Tags: Donald Trump | Russia Probe | Trump Administration | dossier | buzzfeed | op ed | fusion gps

BuzzFeed Chief: Trump Dossier 'Unquestionably Real News'

BuzzFeed Chief: Trump Dossier 'Unquestionably Real News'
BuzzFeed News editor in chief Ben Smith (Alexandra Wyman/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 09 January 2018 09:34 PM

BuzzFeed News editor in chief Ben Smith defended the website's publication of a controversial dossier tying President Donald Trump to Russia a year ago, saying the document "is unquestionably real news."

In an opinion piece for The New York Times posted Tuesday, Smith called the publication the right decision because of the role the document has played in the investigations into Russian election interference.

"[A] year of government inquiries and blockbuster journalism has made clear that the dossier is unquestionably real news," he wrote. "That's a fact that has been tacitly acknowledged even by those who opposed our decision to publish. It has helped journalists explain to their audience the investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 election. And Mr. Trump and his allies have seized on the dossier in their efforts to discredit the special counsel leading the investigation, Robert Mueller."

The memo, written by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele and backed by the firm Fusion GPS, included unverified allegations about Trump that linked him to Russia.

"Without the dossier, Americans would have found it difficult to understand the actions of their elected representatives and government officials," Smith wrote. "Their posture toward Mr. Trump was, we now know even more comprehensively than we did in January 2017, shaped by Mr. Steele's report."

"The Russia investigation, meanwhile, didn't turn out to be some minor side story but instead the central challenge to Mr. Trump's presidency."

Smith wrote he and others at BuzzFeed understood why some opposed their publication of the document, but they "never bought the notion, made by the traditionalists, that a main threat to journalism is that journalists might be too transparent with their audience."

"I haven't had a single person approach me to say, 'I wish I hadn't read the dossier, and wish I had less insight into the forces at play in America.' Do you feel that way? Does anyone?” Smith wrote.

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Defending BuzzFeed News' publication of a controversial dossier tying President Donald Trump to Russia a year ago, editor in chief Ben Smith wrote in The New York Times op-end the dossier "is unquestionably real news."
dossier, buzzfeed, op ed, fusion gps
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2018-34-09
Tuesday, 09 January 2018 09:34 PM
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