No, 4chan Didn’t Make BuzzFeed’s Intelligence Report on Donald Trump

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By Ian Miles Cheong | 4:35 am, January 12, 2017

Members of the anonymous imageboard 4chan are claiming responsibility for the BuzzFeed report about a 35-page dossier alleging that the Russian government has compromising material, on Donald Trump. The report, which remains unverified, also contained lurid sexual allegations about the President-elect.

The Wall Street Journal reports that “people close to the matter” identified the document’s author as Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who is now a director for a private security company called Orbis Intelligence Ltd.

Upon the document’s publication, threads on 4chan and Reddit were quick to highlight a post on 4chan’s /pol/ board written by one of its many anonymous users claiming that BuzzFeed had run a story based on material fabricated by the user.

The post, dated November 2, suggests that the poster sent a tip to Rick Wilson, an anti-Trump Republican pundit.

Trump supporters are citing the post as proof that BuzzFeed and other outlets (as well as intelligence agencies) were pranked by the planted document, brought to them by Wilson (who denies being the source).

“I’ll settle it this way; if — arguendo — I had been their source, I hereby release the authors of the story, its editors, and BuzzFeed generally from any off-the-record/background protections of anonymity I would have asked for,” wrote Wilson, who adds that the information was out in the summer of 2016 — long before the post was made.

Additionally, the 4chan post offers no proof of its claims, nor does it reference any of the allegations made within the report. There isn’t even an allusion to the “golden showers” that caught everyone’s attention.

As seen above, the post is vague, and contains no details.

It’s worth noting that a Mother Jones story by David Corn appeared on October 31—two days before the supposed disinformation was parceled out.

The publication stated that the FBI was in possession of material provided to them by a “veteran spy” (presumably Christopher Steele) alleging a Russian operation to cultivate Donald Trump as an asset through compromising materials acquired during his visits to Moscow. As expected, it makes no mention of Rick Wilson.

In a series of tweets, David Corn confirmed that the memos he referred to in his October article were the same as the ones published by BuzzFeed.

New reports on The New York Times and CNN further contradict the claim that the report was sourced through Rick Wilson, 4chan’s only supposed point of contact.

CNN stated that a two-page summary appended to a report on Russian interference during the 2016 election reported by CNN was presented to Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and congressional leaders. Per CNN, the report alleged that Russians had compromising personal and financial information about the President Elect.

NY Times states the FBI had the material “long before the election” but “struggled to confirm” information within the dossier. The report provides no dates for when the memos surfaced, but states that a retired British intelligence operative prepared the memos for a political and corporate research firm in Washington.

The report, which was penned by a veteran spy, has been circulating around press circles for months — that much is real, and intelligence community is taking the allegations seriously. As for 4chan? They had nothing to do with any of it.