by Ben Cohen
One of the reasons this article isn't being published on the main site is that I have no way of verifying the story I am about to relay.
I had a rather interesting phone conversation with a source of mine five months ago, in the midst of the 2016 presidential election, and the information I received was extremely provocative. I would have gladly published the story if I had been able to verify it independently, but my source would not go on record, and no one else I knew could corroborate the information I was given.
The source, who I will name Jerry (not his/her real name) is an operative for the Democratic Party and has worked behind the scenes for several decades. He is extremely well connected in both the media and in high level political circles, and I have many friends familiar with his work who would also vouch for his reliability (as can I). From time to time, I speak with Jerry about the current state of affairs, as most halfway decent journalists do with sources they have accumulated over the years. It's a mutually beneficial relationship -- I get insider info, and my source gets to potentially turn a journalist onto a story he wants exposing. Oftentimes it's just enjoyable gossip and neither of our interests overlap, but this time, our conversation was a little more alarming than usual.
On the phone call, Jerry informed me that there was a video tape circulating in Russia of Donald Trump in a hotel with underage prostitutes urinating on him. He was at the time negotiating with two Russian agents he knew to try and get a copy of the tape. "They have several of these tapes," my source informed me. "He has been filmed many, many times doing this." There is more I was told about, but given the extreme sensitivity of the subject and the ramifications of publishing it (even for our members), it isn't something I can go into.
At the time, I didn't know what to make of the story my source told me. While it seemed completely improbable, I couldn't dismiss it given Trump's very public track record of extreme misogyny and the numerous accusations of sexual assault. Fast forward five months, and the story doesn't seem just likely, it seems to be almost certainly true. With the Buzzfeed leak of a highly sensitive dossier compiled by a respected former British intelligence officer detailing an uncannily similar story (although there was no mention of the girls' age and they apparently urinated on a bed instead of on Trump), I have to assume that this isn't an attempt to smear Trump by intelligence agencies (as reporters like Glenn Greenwald would have his readers believe). It is in fact an accurate account of the soon to be elected President's behavior.
I am fully aware that had I broken the story several months ago, more could have potentially been done to uncover the truth behind the allegations, and Trump could have been stopped in his tracks. However, publishing unverifiable rumors backed only by circumstantial evidence (much of which hadn't come out at the time) could have backfired very seriously, and the story relegated to conspiracy theory land quicker than a CNN interview with Donald Trump. Even when the dossier was published earlier this month, enough of the media decided it was 'fake news' to severely diminish its impact and allow the Trump team to gain control of the narrative. Publishing it earlier without any intel from a reputable source would have been irresponsible and almost certainly counterproductive.
Either way, given the story is almost certainly true, it is worth delving into its ramifications. If the Russians have substantial video evidence of Donald Trump engaging in sexual activity with underage girls (and potentially worse according to my source), they have leverage over the most powerful man in the world. Trump has already made clear that he does not view Russia as a threat to America or its allies in Europe, and wants to "do business" with his friend Vladimir Putin. We have no access to his tax returns, so we do not know what his personal business dealings in Russia are. We might be living under the rule of a man whose primary interests are his own and that of a foreign government. This is unprecedented and clearly a very serious threat to national security. Trump has already trashed the intelligence reports asserting that the Kremlin has potentially damaging intel on him, so we know that he cannot be trusted to work in the interests of the people who elected him. Ignoring high level intel from the various intelligence agencies tasked with informing the president to keep the country safe is basically treasonous, and in any sane political climate, Trump would be impeached and removed from office immediately. But after the extraordinary events of 2016 and the ripping up of the rule book, we are in unchartered territory going forward. There are no rules, other than the ones Trump decides he wants to follow.
The national security threat notwithstanding, it is also clear that based on his personal behavior, Trump is not fit to be president in any way, shape or form. The latest allegations against him show that his rampant misogyny goes far beyond his repulsive "locker room banter", and based on the evidence, it is fair to characterize him as a sexual predator with an incurably damaged relationship with women. Trump uses and abuses women to satiate his appetite for power, and determines their worth based on how attractive he deems them to be. In 2017, this is completely unforgivable and no decent person should be asked to accept this as normal.
To combat this, journalists are going to have to work very hard to uncover the never ending layers of corruption surrounding Trump and the people who work for him, and continually go to the public with the best information they have. Over the past year we have learned that America's political institutions are ill equipped to deal with someone like Donald Trump. His party won't stand up to him, and Democrats are not organized enough to provide a meaningful challenge to his presidency, so it will be the media, popular pressure and mass resistance that forces change. Trump needs to be impeached as quickly as possible, and we must force elected officials to do our bidding before it really is too late.