McCain Admits He Gave FBI Unverified ‘Intelligence’ Report On Trump

McCain Admits He Gave FBI Unverified Intelligence Report On Trump

In the wake of a CNN report Tuesday claiming Russia gathered compromising intelligence on President-elect Donald Trump and BuzzFeed‘s subsequent publication of the unverified allegations in the Trump “dossier,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., admitted he handed this information to the FBI last year.

“Late last year, I received sensitive information that has since been made public,” McCain said in a statement Wednesday. “Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgment about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the director of the FBI.”

“That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue,” he added.

It has been reported that the intelligence was drawn up by a former Western counterintelligence official who now works as a private consultant. Moreover, The Guardian confirmed that the dossier on Trump was in fact submitted to the FBI and eventually Director James Comey.

McCain reportedly was reluctant to share it with the FBI over concerns that others might construe it as him settling a personal grudge against the president-elect.

How CNN and BuzzFeed gained access to the report remains unknown, though according to The Hill, the intelligence had “apparently been circulating among journalists and politicians in Washington for months.”

Because the intelligence was unverified, however, nobody chose to run with it until this week, when first CNN reported on the existence of the information and BuzzFeed then dumped it on the public without performing any due diligence.

As of Wednesday morning, both stories remained online, though with disclaimers.

“At this point, CNN is not reporting on details of the memos, as it has not independently corroborated the specific allegations,” CNN said.

“The allegations are unverified, and the report contains errors,” BuzzFeed noted.

Many expressed outrage over the reports, including Trump himself.

Even the liberal Washington Post took BuzzFeed to task for the publishing the information.

“It’s never been acceptable to publish rumor and innuendo,” wrote media columnist Margaret Sullivan. “And none of the circumstances surrounding this episode … should change that ethical rule.”

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