#GoldenShowerGate — The Truth

Last night BuzzFeed released a report written by an unnamed ex-MI6 operative detailing an extensive Kremlin sponsored operation to influence the US election and a whole lot more. As of now everything in the memo is completely unverified, and that might go some way to explain the media’s reluctance to report on on the allegations, since it is clear journalists have known about this memo since as early as October 31st when Mother Jones first reported on it. Whilst by now you’ve probably heard of the most salacious allegation made by the report, there is plenty more which is just as damaging not only to Trump, but to the integrity of his presidential campaign and potentially to US foreign policy under a Trump administration.

A synopsis of the report

The full report is publicly available here. The most explosive claims made :

  • The Russian regime has been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” Donald trump for at least 5 years, in a state sponsored operation which includes, but is not limited to, the DNC hacking.
  • Russia, through the Kremlin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, collated a dossier of compromising material on Hillary Clinton, mostly through bugged conversations during trips to Russia and intercepted phone calls. However, this report has not been distributed outside of the Kremlin and the Russian’s intentions as of now remain unclear. It is also alleged that the FSB has been active in creating a file as far back as Bill Clinton’s presidency.
  • Russia exploited Trumps “personal obsessions and sexual perversions” in order to obtain compromising material on Trump. This includes the most provocative claim, that whilst staying in the presidential suite at the Ritz-Carlton, where Trump knew that the Obamas had stayed before, employed prostitutes to urinate on the bed performing ‘golden showers’. The compromising material also includes alleged sex parties that Trump visited whilst in St Petersburg
  • There was extensive cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russian leadership, using then campaign manager Paul Manafort and Trump’s foreign policy adviser, Carter Page. This was in exchange for the Trump campaign sidelining the Russian intervention in Ukraine. Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, also allegedly played a key role in secret talks.
  • There was a growing fear of backlash to Russian involvement in US politics within the Kremlin. Specifically Premier Medvedev was allegedly furious about the potential fallout.

What we know to be true

Reuters reported as early as November on potential cooperation between Russia and the Trump campaign and Mother Jones reported on this same document as early as October 31st. So it is clear that this document has been circulating for quite some time.

Politico also reported that Carter Page, the alleged intermediary, had travelled to Moscow during the election. Carter Page has also been critical of Russian sanctions stating that they hurt the West more than Russia, as reported by Reuters.

What isn’t true

If you are following the #goldengateshowers on twitter you will probably notice a large number of people claiming this to be a hoax perpetrated by 4chan. However, this is clearly false since Mother Jones reported on this long before it was even known to 4chan; back in October. The GOP pundit who 4chan are claiming to have sent it to, Rick Wilson, is denying having any contact.

What is happening now

It seems clear that US intelligence is investigating the memo, and the allegations that stem from it. CNN has reported that Intel Chiefs have presented both Trump and Obama with 2 page synopsis reports of the allegations, in part based on this same report. The Guardian has also reported that the FBI applied for a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court over the summer in order to monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials.

The potential outcome

If the information in the memo is found to be true, the most dangerous implications will not be that Donald Trump is a bit of a freak: we already know about the Access Hollywood recordings and that clearly didn't harm Trump enough for him to lose the election. The most serious implication will be that either through financial incentives or compromising blackmail, Putin will have a method of directly influencing US foreign policy. Clearly one of the main objectives of the Kremlin would be a lifting of economic sanctions on Russia and this is entirely plausible considering the words of Trumps foreign policy adviser Carter Page but also his pick for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who as CEO of Exxon Mobile has deep ties to Russia and to its government.