So that “Americans can make up their own minds.”
BuzzFeed has published a cache of documents, allegedly compiled by a former British intelligence agent, that claim Donald Trump and his associates have deep ties to Russian spies, and that Russia has “compromising information” about the U.S. president-elect.
The digital publisher posted the documents roughly an hour after CNN reported on their existence.
BuzzFeed describes the contents of the documents as “specific, unverified and potentially unverifiable allegations of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives, and graphic claims of sexual acts documented by the Russians.”
CNN reported that both Trump and President Barack Obama received a summary of the reports last week, but that other government officials, including Sen. John McCain and FBI Director James Comey, had seen all of the memos.
CNN said it wouldn’t report on the details of the documents “at this point … as it has not independently corroborated the specific allegations.”
That didn’t stop BuzzFeed.
“Now BuzzFeed News is publishing the full document so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the U.S. government,” the publisher said in the short story accompanying the memos.
I asked BuzzFeed Editor in Chief Ben Smith whether he had discussed publishing the memos with BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti or anyone else at the company, but he wouldn’t respond to that line of questioning. “I’m not going to talk to you about newsroom conversations,” he said.
But Smith did offer another an extended rationale for publishing the documents: “The elected representatives of the American people are making discussions or public allegations based on