BuzzFeed editor defends publication of dossier
BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith defended the website on Wednesday against allegations that it published a controversial opposition research dossier claiming ties between the Trump campaign and Russia out of partisan favoritism.
In a combative interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson, Smith said that BuzzFeed made the call to publish the dossier, because of the reported weight law enforcement and intelligence officials placed on the document, noting that the FBI briefed President Trump Donald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE himself on the matter.
He also said that the dossier provided important context for understanding the ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
"The dossier is a document of kind of obvious central public importance," he said. "It's the subject of multiple investigations by intelligence agencies, by Congress. That was clear a year ago. It's a lot clearer now."
Carlson, however, argued that BuzzFeed published the document too early, before certain information that would have helped put the dossier in context came to light.
The Fox News host also argued that BuzzFeed would not have published the document had it been about a Democrat, like former President Barack Obama Barack Hussein ObamaPatagonia files suit against Trump cuts to Utah monuments Former Dem Tenn. gov to launch Senate bid: report Eighth Franken accuser comes forward as Dems call for resignation MORE.
"If it was being briefed to the president, absolutely," Smith responded.
The dossier was commissioned in 2016 by the private research firm Fusion GPS and compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.