ABC, CBS Speculate Trump Was Blackmailed With Russian Prostitutes

In a recent closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee (which was leaked), former Donald Trump bodyguard Keith Schiller destroyed one of the more salacious parts of the Clinton/DNC funded dossier. The documents, which were put together by a former British spy with the help of Russian agents, claimed Russia had dirt on Trump regarding him and Russian prostitutes. Despite Schiller shooting down the rumors, both ABC and CBS spent Thursday evening speculating about the debunked accusations as if there were something to them.

The House committee investigating Russian meddling in the presidential election heard quite a story this week from President Trump's former bodyguard,” announced temporary Anchor Anthony Mason during CBS Evening News as he led into a report on the leaked testimony, with the on screen headline "Blackmailed by Russia?" enblazoned behind him. He seems to suggest Russians may have tried to blackmail Mr. Trump.

In his report, Justice Correspondent Jeff Pegues gave a rundown of Schiller’s testimony:

This week, Schiller told members of the House Intelligence committee that during that trip, an offer was made to send five women to Mr. Trump's hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton. According to a source, Schiller told the committee, he didn't take the offer seriously, but he did later mention it to Mr. Trump.

Pegues failed to mention that it had been reported Schiller testified under oath that he told the Russian making the offer: “We don't do that type of stuff.” It had also been reported that when Schiller told his boss about the offer, Trump laughed it off. That was also missing from Pegues report. But Pegues did talk to a former FBI operative who opined about how it was no surprise the Russians would want to compromise Trump.

 

 

Meanwhile, on ABC’s World News Tonight, Anchor David Muir sensationalized the non-story as possibly being important. “And there is another major headline at this hour, involving the President's long-time bodyguard, and what he told Congress about the President in Moscow, and an alleged offer of several Russian women in 2013,” he declared, before handing the report off to Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross.

Tonight, we are learning what Schiller says he saw on a trip to Moscow with Trump in 2013 for the Miss Universe Pageant,” Ross hyped. “That trip to Moscow figured prominently in the uncorroborated dossier prepared for the Clinton campaign, which includes allegations that Trump while staying at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Moscow employed ‘A number of prostitutes.’

Ross also failed to mention Schiller told the House Intelligence Committee that “[w]e don't do that type of stuff,” and that Trump laughed after being told about the offer. But the ABC reporter did leave the door open for the allegations, noting that “Schiller told Congress he stayed outside Trump's hotel room for about five minutes that night and saw no one go inside.

NBC was the only network in the Big Three not to touch the non-story on their evening broadcast. It’s clear that both ABC and CBS were trying desperately to at least create a specter of the Russians having dirt on Trump being involved with their offered prostitutes. But it’s hard to speculate that the salacious allegations were true when that’s not what apparently happened.

ABC's speculation was sponsored by Allstate, T.RowePrice, and Eliquis. CBS's was brought to you by Farxiga, Aleve, and Trivago. 

Transcripts below:

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ABC
World News Tonight
November 9, 2017
6:36:20 PM Eastern

DAVID MUIR: Next, to the Russia investigation, and tonight, we've learned the special counsel's probe reaching deep into the West Wing. Now questioning one of the President's closest aides, Senior Adviser Stephen Miller. And there is another major headline at this hour, involving the President's long-time bodyguard, and what he told Congress about the President in Moscow, and an alleged offer of several Russian women in 2013. Here's Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross.

[Cuts to video]

BRIAN ROSS: A former New York City cop, Keith Schiller, was the bodyguard at Donald Trump's side for years. And he followed his boss to the White House, and even hand-delivered the President's letter, firing FBI Director James Comey. Tonight, we are learning what Schiller says he saw on a trip to Moscow with Trump in 2013 for the Miss Universe Pageant. That trip to Moscow figured prominently in the uncorroborated dossier prepared for the Clinton campaign, which includes allegations that Trump, while staying at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Moscow employed "A number of prostitutes." Tonight, Congressional investigators say Schiller told them a well-connected Russian businessman offered him "Five women" for Trump, but that he rejected the offer, believing it was a joke. And that he never told Trump about it until several hours later. Trump himself has denied the salacious allegations, saying he knew there were cameras hidden in the rooms.

DONALD TRUMP: I was in Russia years ago with the Miss Universe contest which did very well, Moscow, the Moscow area, did very, very well. And I told many people, be careful, because you don't want to see yourself on television, cameras all over the place.

ROSS: Schiller told Congress he stayed outside Trump's hotel room for about five minutes that night and saw no one go inside.

(…)

...

CBS Evening News
November 9, 2017
6:40:44 – 6:42:28 PM Eastern [1 minute 43 seconds]

ANTHONY MASON: The House committee investigating Russian meddling in the presidential election heard quite a story this week from President Trump's former bodyguard. He seems to suggest Russians may have tried to blackmail Mr. Trump. Here's Jeff Pegues.

[Cuts to video]

JEFF PEGUES: In 2013, President Trump's Miss Universe Pageant was in Moscow. Mr. Trump was there, too, along with his longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller. This week, Schiller told members of the House Intelligence committee that during that trip, an offer was made to send five women to Mr. Trump's hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton. According to a source, Schiller told the committee, he didn't take the offer seriously, but he did later mention it to Mr. Trump. The intelligence committee is investigating allegations made in a 35-page dossier compiled last year by a former British spy. It made the unsubstantiated claim that the Kremlin had compromising information on Mr. Trump that included salacious details about his 2013 trip to Moscow.

ERIC O’NEILL: It is an age-old tactic. The Russians have been using it for as long as they have been spies.

PEGUES: Eric O’Neill is a former FBI operative.

O’NEILL: I'm not surprised at all that the Russians would have gone after someone like Mr. Trump at the time to gather that compromising information. He's a well-known figure, someone who is very engaged in politics, and, also, someone who has many deals in Russia.

[Cuts back to live]

PEGUES: An attorney for Schiller who worked at the White House until September had no comment. Just recently, a lawyer for both the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee admitted to paying the research firm that compiled that dossier. Anthony.

MASON: Jeff Pegues, thanks, Jeff.

 


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NBDaily Foreign Policy Russia Bias by Omission Conspiracy Theories Trump-Russia probe Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News Video Jeff Pegues David Muir Brian Ross Anthony Mason Donald Trump