BuzzFeed on Tuesday published a slew of unverified claims that were contained in a 35-page dossier documenting Russia’s alleged attempts to compromise Donald Trump.
The dossier, which was reportedly compiled by a former British intelligence agent, included unsubstantiated claims that Trump cooperated with Russian officials in operations meant to target his political opponents.
BuzzFeed’s report also notes “graphic claims of sexual acts” that allegedly occurred in Trump’s presence while he was in Russia.
President Barack Obama and Trump were given a briefing about the claims made in the dossier.
BuzzFeed said it published the document in its entirety “so 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.”
Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, sent a note to employees on Tuesday explaining the decision:
“As we noted in our story, there is serious reason to doubt the allegations. We have been chasing specific claims in this document for weeks, and will continue to. Publishing this document was not an easy or simple call, and people of good will may disagree with our choice. But publishing this dossier reflects how we see the job of reporters in 2017.”
Mother Jones’ David Corn came across the reports and included details about them in an October 2016 story, but he said he did not to publish them because he could not confirm the details.
Following the bombshell report, Trump denied its veracity, calling it “fake news” and a “total political witch hunt.”