By now you've woken up to the Black Mirror-worthy headlines: President-elect Donald Trump has spent all night angrily denying he paid Russian prostitutes to perform an R. Kelly-approved routine at a Moscow hotel while FSB spies secretly filmed blackmail material.
But the source of those salacious claims — a secret dossier published in full by Buzzfeed — also includes dozens of other sinister allegations about outright collaboration between the GOP nominee's staff and Russian President Vladimir Putin's cronies to help get Trump elected.
One of those reports alleges that Russian officials living in Miami paid off the hackers who broke into the Democratic National Committee's servers to provide embarrassing emails to WikiLeaks and other sources.
The dossier was assembled by a former British intelligence agent for Trump's various political opponents; it had circulated in D.C. for months, but journalists had been stymied in efforts to verify its most explosive claims — such as the allegation that Trump had a urine-soaked sex party in Moscow.
Buzzfeed elected to publish the whole report last night after CNN confirmed that both Trump and President Barack Obama had also been given copies in recent days. The FBI has spent months investigating the claims as well. Again, it's important to note, the allegations in the report have not been verified.
But both the CIA and the FBI say they have verified the larger point: Russia was actively trying to help Trump win, in part by orchestrating a hack of private DNC emails. That is not in dispute.
And there's a Miami tie to those politically aimed hacks, the new Trump dossier claims. Citing an insider called "Source E," the report says Russia used three outlets to go after Hillary Clinton's campaign: operatives they'd cultivated within the Democratic Party; U.S.-based Russian agents and hackers; and hackers in Moscow.
Putin's government needed some way to pay those U.S.-based assets and receive the information they'd gathered. His solution, according to the report, was to use Russian consular officials living in the States.
"On the mechanism for rewarding relevant assets based in the U.S. and effecting two-way flow of intelligence and other information, Source E claimed that diplomatic staff in key cities such as New York, Washington D.C., and Miami were using the emigre 'pension' distribution center as cover," the report says. "Tens of thousands of dollars were involved."
Unlike D.C. and New York, Miami doesn't have a Russian consulate office. But that doesn't mean Russian diplomatic officials aren't based here. A sizable Russian expat community has settled in South Florida, many among the moneyed upper class who have poured millions into beachfront condos in recent years.
Trump and his staff have lambasted the report as a complete fabrication. In an all-caps tweet, Trump called the story a "witch hunt," while his spokesperson Kellyanne Conway emphasized that "nothing has been confirmed" in the reports.
Know anything more about a Russian-Trump connection in Miami? Do drop us a line.
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