The Trump-Russia Dossier: What Was BuzzFeed Thinking?

The Trump-Russia dossier reads as though the inside of the Kremlin is a high school cafeteria where you can overhear amazing state secrets all the time, says journalist Matt Taibbi – that's just not the way the Russians operate.\r\n

On January 10, 2017, BuzzFeed published the ‘Trump–Russia Dossier’. The 35-page file of unverified information was collected by a former British intelligence officer and had been circulating behind-the-scenes amongst the media community for several weeks as journalists tried but failed to verify its claims. After CNN reported on the existence of the dossier, BuzzFeed published the document in full, acknowledging that its contents were unconfirmed and some parts outright erroneous, but believing that "Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government." Journalist Matt Taibbi weighs in on this ethical dilemma – should journalists participate in this kind of guessing game? Matt Taibbi's most recent book is Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the American Circus.

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When Taibbi began covering the U.S. finance industry, he was "continually struck" by how much it resembled the corrupt dynamic in the former Soviet Union.

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"I work hard to be honest with my sources, but I don’t go out of my way to make them feel good either," says Taibbi.