Democrat dossier desperation destroys decorum

A heated television discussion that leads to "You better get a lawyer, buddy!" is one sign of the stakes of the scandal unfolding over financing and producing the bogus Steele dossier.  We are headed for mortal combat, as the stakes could not be higher. A window into the deception and corruption at the heart of the modern Democratic Party has opened, and like vampires fleeing sunshine, those implicated are flinging up obstacles to view.

Prepare yourself for rock 'em, sock 'em combat between talking heads, the likes of which you've never seen before.  We just got a preview of what's coming.  

My jaw dropped last night watching the bitterness of a discussion on the subject last night on Martha MacCallum's Fox News show.  (Kudos to the bookers, who could not get any office-holders to go on air.)

The segment pitted together two influential professional political consultants: Michael Caputo and Zac Petkanas.

Caputo, in his mid-fifties, learned P.R. in the Army and, inspired by Reagan, went into politics and worked with Jack Kemp in his hometown of Buffalo.  He was for a while communications director for the Trump campaign until forced to resign over a tweet.

Petkanas, in his early thirties, is the former rapid response director for Hillary's campaign, who reportedly set up the DNC's war room. Zac made his bones working for Harry Reid, which should tell you everything you need to know about how he operates.

I will embed the rush transcript from Grabien below, but it does no justice to the exchange.  This video is actually worth eleven and a half minutes of your time.

There are so many contrasts at so many levels between the two that they illuminate the two camps into which America is divided. The way they argue, the way they look. the background, and the facial expressions all depict Trump America versus Democrat America.

>> Trace, thank you very much. Michael Caputo wrote a piece back in April of 2015 raising questions about the uranium one deal and the Clintons and a former DNC advisor who worked on the Clinton campaign join me to go through the latest. Michael your reaction to the news that the Washington freebee condition in participated for some of the opposition research against GOP candidates and the dates on that were from fall of 2015 through spinning of 2016.
>> I’m kind of shocked actually. Frankly, that just means my return calls to the Washington freebee condition will go unanswered from here forward. I think that seems really out of character for a Washington media organization. But you know we’re looking at a very different product that was put together after the Washington freebee condition gave up the research and handed it off to the Clinton campaign and the democratic national committee. It’s only then, actually weeks after they starting funding, is the Democrats had fusion gps hire a British spy who talked to Russian spice who gave the British spy Russian intelligence information to give back to the Clinton campaign and the DNC. That smells a lot like collusion to me.
>> What we don’t know here, there’s been a lot of speculation about who on the GOP side paid for the early stages of this opposition research. Remember, obviously as we’ve all claimed, all campaigns do opposition research. Whether or not there was any connection to any of the other candidates or any of their campaigns we don’t know yet. We watched how the money was funneled through on the DNC side and Clinton side through mark Elias, the attorney. We don’t know what the case was in terms of who was generating, who was the client and whether or not it was just the Washington freebee condition and who they were looking for and whether or not they only used sort of the domestic auspices of fusion gps to get that opposition research. Sack what changed in the game after that was the sort of acquisition of knowledge and bringing on board Michael steal who was British and who had connections to the Kremlin.
>> Well I mean look, whether it’s the Republicans who paid for the dossier, whether it’s the Democrats who paid for the dossier or whether it was big bird who paid for the dossier what matters is the consent of the dossier and the leads in which reporters and investigators are able to follow or not. That’s simply what it is. It is a document for investigators to be able to follow. Some of it may be rumor, some of it may be true. It is not correct to say that large swaths of it have been discredited. Large parts have not been verified but it doesn’t mean it’s completely worthless. Underlying premise of the dossier is that the Russians helped Donald Trump get elected. Which is exactly what Donald Trump’s own director has said. Michael until.
>> I’ll tell you first of all we don’t know that there was a Republican at the nexus of this research Steve cishek. We’ve only heard that through leaks for organizations like CNN. People talk about it like it’s a truism, we don’t. I first started getting calls from reporters about this dossier in may of 2016, which apparently is a month after the Democrats took it over. So from my perspective we’re looking at a document that also has precipitated a legal complaint by a watchdog group that this was funded and hidden by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. So this is not the innocent piece of research that you’re trying to say there, sir. There’s a lot more to this. We need hearings to find out what really went on.
>> One of the other big questions is the FBI and the why it is that there’s been some sort of effort in some ways to protect fusion gps. They pled the fifth when they went before Congress. Congress wants to know why they can’t get their hands on the information they asked. For they have a deadline by Monday morning by which they want to see the list of clients that they worked for through the bank records of fusion gps. Zak I understand what you’re the getting at about whether or not it’s been verified. But I guess a lot of people want to know whether or not there was a concerted effort on the part of Democrats and even some involvement by the FBI potentially to find dirt on this candidate and to influence the United States election in that way.
>> The purpose of fusion gps was to expose the collusion by the Trump campaign and the Russian government. That was the purpose of it. It was not to find dirt on Donald Trump. It was to expose potential collusion between the campaign and the Russian government. That is not collusion with the Democrats. And I think it is pretty outrageous to suggest that the FBI is doing something untoward. What they are doing are following leads. Of course they’re gonna protect their sources and their leads and not allow partisan Republican I can hakz to get in the way of their investigation. Maybe the dossier is not true, maybe it is, but there are a bunch of leads brought by sources that may have knowledge of this. So it makes sense.
MacCALLUM: “Yeah, but if the — Michael I want you to comment on this, if it turns out that that dossier was used as a substance for the investigation that was opened, unmasking that was done of members of the Clinton campaign team, it raises the kinds of questions that I brought up, whether or not there was a concerted effort on the part of these parties to find a way to undermine the Trump campaign, Michael.”
CAPUTO: “No question. In fact I’ve been informed by sources close to the intelligence community that I myself was unmasked because of this dossier. I’ve been told it’s not just 100 trump associates or hundreds it’s over 1000 that were unmasked, a lot of it due to the claims that were made in this dossier. I know some of the people who were used as sources in this dossier. It’s a caricature of intelligence. Somehow or another this cartoon has been driving investigation into people like me and my friends and the president of the United States. This is a travesty. By the way the chairman of the campaign and the chairman of the DNC most definitely knew about this and there is no way they weren’t lying when they said they didn’t.”
>> If you were getting unmasked or being looked at by the FBI maybe you the shouldn’t be having such weird conversations with potential foreigners.
>> Maybe your people shouldn’t be breaking the law.
>> This is a guy who used to work for Vladimir Putin.
[ Laughter ]
>> This is coming back on you people. This is all a bogus investigation. It’s time for thank you guys to lawyer up.
>> You are a Russian stooge who used to work for Vladimir Putin and it is becoming back.
>> Michael respond to that.
>> I’m sorry?
>> Listen, you sit here and call me a Russian stooge. I served in the American military. I served my country. I’m tired of accusations. I never worked for Vladimir Putin. You people on the Democrat side are so confused by your talking points that you just lie through your teeth. You accuse me of working for Putin on national television, you better get a lawyer, buddy.
>> Hold on one second, guys. Hold that thought. I have a statement here from the Washington freebee condition. We want to read some of it. It’s rather long. Let’s see what we can share with you and where the important parts in this are. Since the launch in February 2012 the Washington freebee condition has conducted research. In that capacity during the 2016 election cycle we retained fusion gps to provide research on multiple candidates just as we retained other firms to help us research the Hillary Clinton. Based on public sources and none of the work product that the freebee condition receives was in the steel dossier. The free beacon had no knowledge of nor connection to the dossier, didn’t pay for the dossier and never provided for any work performed by Christopher Steele. Nor did we have any knowledge between fusion gps and the Dagen Mcdowell ivanka Kushner national committee and the Clinton exam pain. Representatives offered to answer what questions we can in the ongoing lobe. But to be clear we the stand by our reporting and do not apologize for the me good thoughed. We the consider it our duty to not report faults hoods oral slander. That commitment has been well demonstrated. The First Amendment allows for us to engage in this news gathering. You get the idea of the rest of that. Since the beginning of this conversation and has Michael Caputo pointed out the suggestion tt perhapsne of the candidates who was running during the primary funded this research. We don’t know if this news IRS counts it or replaces. That but it appears that it might. It appears that the notion that a GOP side had also invested in this research may be answered in this question that it was the Washington freebee condition which is considered a conservative publication. Michael before I let you go do you think that that is what we’re seeing here?
>> I think it is. And listening to their statement I think there’s some research firms that do research for publications and news organizations. If they were looking at Donald Trump’s business ties and his different businesses and trying to find out if there’s impropriety there that’s probably a legitimate use of an organization. It’s when the Clinton campaign and DNC decided to hire a met work of spies, when things went a little awry.
>> The problem is under the sec regulations you are can’t hire I want fashion bodies to do this kind of research. You’re supposed to register who pays for this under the election rules. That looks like a problem for the democratic side.
>> I have no idea what was or was not done. I didn’t know about the dossier or the fusion gps until after the election. But what I do think is a potential problem if we’re talking about coordination with a foreign entity is what we learned yesterday which was that trump’s team was working with Julian Assange a Russian cut out.
>> Working with is not actually accurate, according to the report.
>> It’s just another lie.
>> Stick to the facts. We try to stay in fact land here. What we do know about the story was that there was outrage and Julian Assange said I don’t have them or I don’t want to work with you on that. If I want to the put anything out I’ll put it out myself.
>> They attempted to catalog all of the Wikileaks stolen emails from Wikileaks that the Russians stole from our campaign and from the DNC. That is an attempt.
>> That’s going to be part of the investigation. If there’s more to it we’ll certainly see.
>> Michael and Zach, good to have you here. Lots to go on this story.

A heated television discussion that leads to "You better get a lawyer, buddy!" is one sign of the stakes of the scandal unfolding over financing and producing the bogus Steele dossier.  We are headed for mortal combat, as the stakes could not be higher. A window into the deception and corruption at the heart of the modern Democratic Party has opened, and like vampires fleeing sunshine, those implicated are flinging up obstacles to view.

Prepare yourself for rock 'em, sock 'em combat between talking heads, the likes of which you've never seen before.  We just got a preview of what's coming.  

My jaw dropped last night watching the bitterness of a discussion on the subject last night on Martha MacCallum's Fox News show.  (Kudos to the bookers, who could not get any office-holders to go on air.)

The segment pitted together two influential professional political consultants: Michael Caputo and Zac Petkanas.

Caputo, in his mid-fifties, learned P.R. in the Army and, inspired by Reagan, went into politics and worked with Jack Kemp in his hometown of Buffalo.  He was for a while communications director for the Trump campaign until forced to resign over a tweet.

Petkanas, in his early thirties, is the former rapid response director for Hillary's campaign, who reportedly set up the DNC's war room. Zac made his bones working for Harry Reid, which should tell you everything you need to know about how he operates.

I will embed the rush transcript from Grabien below, but it does no justice to the exchange.  This video is actually worth eleven and a half minutes of your time.

There are so many contrasts at so many levels between the two that they illuminate the two camps into which America is divided. The way they argue, the way they look. the background, and the facial expressions all depict Trump America versus Democrat America.

>> Trace, thank you very much. Michael Caputo wrote a piece back in April of 2015 raising questions about the uranium one deal and the Clintons and a former DNC advisor who worked on the Clinton campaign join me to go through the latest. Michael your reaction to the news that the Washington freebee condition in participated for some of the opposition research against GOP candidates and the dates on that were from fall of 2015 through spinning of 2016.
>> I’m kind of shocked actually. Frankly, that just means my return calls to the Washington freebee condition will go unanswered from here forward. I think that seems really out of character for a Washington media organization. But you know we’re looking at a very different product that was put together after the Washington freebee condition gave up the research and handed it off to the Clinton campaign and the democratic national committee. It’s only then, actually weeks after they starting funding, is the Democrats had fusion gps hire a British spy who talked to Russian spice who gave the British spy Russian intelligence information to give back to the Clinton campaign and the DNC. That smells a lot like collusion to me.
>> What we don’t know here, there’s been a lot of speculation about who on the GOP side paid for the early stages of this opposition research. Remember, obviously as we’ve all claimed, all campaigns do opposition research. Whether or not there was any connection to any of the other candidates or any of their campaigns we don’t know yet. We watched how the money was funneled through on the DNC side and Clinton side through mark Elias, the attorney. We don’t know what the case was in terms of who was generating, who was the client and whether or not it was just the Washington freebee condition and who they were looking for and whether or not they only used sort of the domestic auspices of fusion gps to get that opposition research. Sack what changed in the game after that was the sort of acquisition of knowledge and bringing on board Michael steal who was British and who had connections to the Kremlin.
>> Well I mean look, whether it’s the Republicans who paid for the dossier, whether it’s the Democrats who paid for the dossier or whether it was big bird who paid for the dossier what matters is the consent of the dossier and the leads in which reporters and investigators are able to follow or not. That’s simply what it is. It is a document for investigators to be able to follow. Some of it may be rumor, some of it may be true. It is not correct to say that large swaths of it have been discredited. Large parts have not been verified but it doesn’t mean it’s completely worthless. Underlying premise of the dossier is that the Russians helped Donald Trump get elected. Which is exactly what Donald Trump’s own director has said. Michael until.
>> I’ll tell you first of all we don’t know that there was a Republican at the nexus of this research Steve cishek. We’ve only heard that through leaks for organizations like CNN. People talk about it like it’s a truism, we don’t. I first started getting calls from reporters about this dossier in may of 2016, which apparently is a month after the Democrats took it over. So from my perspective we’re looking at a document that also has precipitated a legal complaint by a watchdog group that this was funded and hidden by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. So this is not the innocent piece of research that you’re trying to say there, sir. There’s a lot more to this. We need hearings to find out what really went on.
>> One of the other big questions is the FBI and the why it is that there’s been some sort of effort in some ways to protect fusion gps. They pled the fifth when they went before Congress. Congress wants to know why they can’t get their hands on the information they asked. For they have a deadline by Monday morning by which they want to see the list of clients that they worked for through the bank records of fusion gps. Zak I understand what you’re the getting at about whether or not it’s been verified. But I guess a lot of people want to know whether or not there was a concerted effort on the part of Democrats and even some involvement by the FBI potentially to find dirt on this candidate and to influence the United States election in that way.
>> The purpose of fusion gps was to expose the collusion by the Trump campaign and the Russian government. That was the purpose of it. It was not to find dirt on Donald Trump. It was to expose potential collusion between the campaign and the Russian government. That is not collusion with the Democrats. And I think it is pretty outrageous to suggest that the FBI is doing something untoward. What they are doing are following leads. Of course they’re gonna protect their sources and their leads and not allow partisan Republican I can hakz to get in the way of their investigation. Maybe the dossier is not true, maybe it is, but there are a bunch of leads brought by sources that may have knowledge of this. So it makes sense.
MacCALLUM: “Yeah, but if the — Michael I want you to comment on this, if it turns out that that dossier was used as a substance for the investigation that was opened, unmasking that was done of members of the Clinton campaign team, it raises the kinds of questions that I brought up, whether or not there was a concerted effort on the part of these parties to find a way to undermine the Trump campaign, Michael.”
CAPUTO: “No question. In fact I’ve been informed by sources close to the intelligence community that I myself was unmasked because of this dossier. I’ve been told it’s not just 100 trump associates or hundreds it’s over 1000 that were unmasked, a lot of it due to the claims that were made in this dossier. I know some of the people who were used as sources in this dossier. It’s a caricature of intelligence. Somehow or another this cartoon has been driving investigation into people like me and my friends and the president of the United States. This is a travesty. By the way the chairman of the campaign and the chairman of the DNC most definitely knew about this and there is no way they weren’t lying when they said they didn’t.”
>> If you were getting unmasked or being looked at by the FBI maybe you the shouldn’t be having such weird conversations with potential foreigners.
>> Maybe your people shouldn’t be breaking the law.
>> This is a guy who used to work for Vladimir Putin.
[ Laughter ]
>> This is coming back on you people. This is all a bogus investigation. It’s time for thank you guys to lawyer up.
>> You are a Russian stooge who used to work for Vladimir Putin and it is becoming back.
>> Michael respond to that.
>> I’m sorry?
>> Listen, you sit here and call me a Russian stooge. I served in the American military. I served my country. I’m tired of accusations. I never worked for Vladimir Putin. You people on the Democrat side are so confused by your talking points that you just lie through your teeth. You accuse me of working for Putin on national television, you better get a lawyer, buddy.
>> Hold on one second, guys. Hold that thought. I have a statement here from the Washington freebee condition. We want to read some of it. It’s rather long. Let’s see what we can share with you and where the important parts in this are. Since the launch in February 2012 the Washington freebee condition has conducted research. In that capacity during the 2016 election cycle we retained fusion gps to provide research on multiple candidates just as we retained other firms to help us research the Hillary Clinton. Based on public sources and none of the work product that the freebee condition receives was in the steel dossier. The free beacon had no knowledge of nor connection to the dossier, didn’t pay for the dossier and never provided for any work performed by Christopher Steele. Nor did we have any knowledge between fusion gps and the Dagen Mcdowell ivanka Kushner national committee and the Clinton exam pain. Representatives offered to answer what questions we can in the ongoing lobe. But to be clear we the stand by our reporting and do not apologize for the me good thoughed. We the consider it our duty to not report faults hoods oral slander. That commitment has been well demonstrated. The First Amendment allows for us to engage in this news gathering. You get the idea of the rest of that. Since the beginning of this conversation and has Michael Caputo pointed out the suggestion tt perhapsne of the candidates who was running during the primary funded this research. We don’t know if this news IRS counts it or replaces. That but it appears that it might. It appears that the notion that a GOP side had also invested in this research may be answered in this question that it was the Washington freebee condition which is considered a conservative publication. Michael before I let you go do you think that that is what we’re seeing here?
>> I think it is. And listening to their statement I think there’s some research firms that do research for publications and news organizations. If they were looking at Donald Trump’s business ties and his different businesses and trying to find out if there’s impropriety there that’s probably a legitimate use of an organization. It’s when the Clinton campaign and DNC decided to hire a met work of spies, when things went a little awry.
>> The problem is under the sec regulations you are can’t hire I want fashion bodies to do this kind of research. You’re supposed to register who pays for this under the election rules. That looks like a problem for the democratic side.
>> I have no idea what was or was not done. I didn’t know about the dossier or the fusion gps until after the election. But what I do think is a potential problem if we’re talking about coordination with a foreign entity is what we learned yesterday which was that trump’s team was working with Julian Assange a Russian cut out.
>> Working with is not actually accurate, according to the report.
>> It’s just another lie.
>> Stick to the facts. We try to stay in fact land here. What we do know about the story was that there was outrage and Julian Assange said I don’t have them or I don’t want to work with you on that. If I want to the put anything out I’ll put it out myself.
>> They attempted to catalog all of the Wikileaks stolen emails from Wikileaks that the Russians stole from our campaign and from the DNC. That is an attempt.
>> That’s going to be part of the investigation. If there’s more to it we’ll certainly see.
>> Michael and Zach, good to have you here. Lots to go on this story.