Russia Is Blackmailing Donald Trump-Unproven!

Russia Is Blackmailing Donald Trump-Unproven!

Summary of eRumor:
Russia is blackmailing Donald Trump with videos and information that would be damaging or embarrassing to the president-elect’s business dealings and reputation.
The Truth:
Rumors that Russia is blackmailing Donald Trump are based on dossier making unverified claims that has been leaked to media outlets.
As such, claims that Russia is blackmailing Donald Trump or has information that compromise the president-elect is completely unverified and unproven at this time.
The story came to light after a Buzzfeed published the full document detailing alleged “potentially unverifiable allegations” of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives “so that Americans can make up their own minds” about them:

A dossier making explosive — but unverified — allegations that the Russian government has been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” President-elect Donald Trump for years and gained compromising information about him has been circulating among elected officials, intelligence agents, and journalists for weeks.

The dossier, which is a collection of memos written over a period of months, includes specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives, and graphic claims of sexual acts documented by the Russians. BuzzFeed News reporters in the US and Europe have been investigating various alleged facts in the dossier but have not verified or falsified them. CNN reported Tuesday that a two-page synopsis of the report was given to President Obama and Trump.

During his first press conference as a president-elect, Donald Trump blasted Buzzfeed for publishing the unverified dossier, and CNN for reporting that intelligence officials had given a two-page summary of the dossier to both Obama and Trump. Earlier, Trump tweeted that the report was “fake news” and the result of a “political witch hunt”:

Again, the dossier alleging that Russia is blackmailing Donald Trump is completely unverified by U.S. intelligence agencies at this point.
A former British intelligence officer named Christopher Steele compiled the dossier — which consists of a series of memos — as political oppositional research that could be used against Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign.
At first, an unnamed “wealthy Republican donor” who fiercely opposed Trump’s candidacy paid Steele to conduct “oppo” research on Trump that resulted in the dossier. Later, when the Republican donor pulled out, supporters of Hillary Clinton reportedly stepped in with financing to keep Christopher Steele’s work afloat. Later, Steele turned the dossier over to U.S. intelligence agencies. The dossier also somehow landed in the hands of mainstream media outlets, and Buzzfeed published the dossier in its entirety on January 10th.
The Wall Street Journal reported on January 10th that Christopher Steele, the director of London-based Orbis Intelligence Ltd., had gone underground out of fear of retaliation for compiling the dossier. No information is available about his whereabouts at this time.
Donald Trump, meanwhile, has criticized U.S. intelligence agencies for allegedly leaking the “nonsense” dossier to the media — and TRUMP took to Twitter to claim that the intel community told him the dossier was false:

James Clapper, U.S. national intelligence director, rejected those accusations and said that intelligence agencies had made “no judgment about the reliability of the allegations.”
Again, claims that Russia is blackmailing Donald Trump are unverified.