#WATERSPORTSGATE

What you need to know about the Donald Trump “golden showers” intelligence report

US president-elect Donald Trump and current US president Barack Obama were informed last week by top US intelligence officials that Russians claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Trump, according to Jan. 10 reports in CNN, Buzzfeed, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

The information has not been independently confirmed by US intelligence officials. Some reports suggested US intelligence consider the source of the information, a former British intelligence official, to be credible enough to distribute it to Obama and Trump, as well as the heads of Congressional intelligence committees, who reportedly received a two-page dossier last week. Other reports suggested the briefing was meant simply to prepare the incoming and outgoing administrations in case the unsubstantiated information were to be made public.

Indeed, a 35-page report the dossier was based on, which has been circulating through intelligence and media circles for weeks, was published by Buzzfeed on Tuesday night (Jan. 10) with the disclaimer that it includes “unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives, and graphic claims of sexual acts documented by the Russians.”

The compromising information allegedly includes details of “perverted” acts conducted in a Ritz-Carlton in Moscow, which may have been recorded, Buzzfeed reported.

Who wrote the report?

A British former MI6 intelligence agent who worked in Russia, “whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible,” is how CNN identified the source. He or she is a “former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence,” Mother Jones said in an October report on the alleged Russian intelligence, which contained few details.

The former British spy, who runs a private intelligence agency, was hired first by US Republicans and then by Hillary Clinton supporters to research Trump’s Russia ties, CNN reports.

What does it allege?

  • The full report published by Buzzfeed claims Russia has been “cultivating, supporting, and assisting” Trump for five years, in an attempt to encourage splits in the “western alliance.”
  • Trump is alleged to have engaged in “perverted sexual acts” that were “arranged/monitored” by the Russian intelligence, including hiring prostitutes to urinate on the bed in the Presidential Suite of the Ritz Carlton hotel in Moscow where Obama and his wife had slept during an official visit, out of supposed hatred for them. Trump allegedly engaged in other “unorthodox” behavior in Moscow that Russian officials believe left him open to blackmail, the full report says.
  • Russian spies eavesdropped on Hillary Clinton as well, as far back as during her husband’s presidency, but their information on her contains mostly evidence of situations where she had said things the contradicted her position at the time, not embarrassing behavior, the long report says.
  • Russian intelligence allegedly fed Trump information on political opponents including Hillary Clinton for “years.” Trump allegedly was offered lucrative real estate deals in Russia in conjunction with the 2018 World Cup, but declined to take them.

What does the Trump administration say?

While the Trump transition team declined to comment on the CNN report, Trump tweeted after CNN’s story came out, calling it “fake news.”

What does the Obama administration say?

Obama made no mention of the report in his farewell address, delivered from Chicago within hours of Buzzfeed publishing the dossier. He reiterated a promise for a smooth transition to Trump’s administration and extolled the virtues of a democracy that values peaceful transfers of power.

Read this next: If “golden showers” is the worst Russia has on Trump, America has nothing to worry about

home our picks popular latest obsessions search