The Washington Free Beacon, a neoconservative news website edited by Bill Kristol’s son-in-law Matthew Continetti, is revealed to have been the original financier of Fusion GPS’ anti-Donald Trump effort.
That project yielded the discredited Christopher Steele dossier on Trump’s alleged Russian collusion. The Free Beacon reportedly handed the project off, directly or otherwise, to the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC in April 2016. The Beacon is denying that the project was focused on Russia at the time that the Kristol-linked site was financing it.
Numerous good people have been ensnared in the “Russia” hoax, which has dragged down lives by forcing campaign staffers like Mike Caputo to spend astronomical amounts of money on legal fees. Similar to the 1950’s Red Scare and Hollywood blacklist, many pro-Trump operatives and thinkers have seen their reputations besmirched and their earning capability curtailed by bogus Russia-themed innuendo.
Now, we know that Bill Kristol’s family member was integrally involved in the origins of that innuendo by paying the firm that ended up producing the Steele dossier. The Free Beacon’s deep-pocketed establishment sugar daddy Paul Singer is caught up in the controversy.
Big League Politics sent an inquiry to Continetti early Friday morning asking about Singer’s connection to the dossier, but our inquiry was not returned by Kristol’s son-in-law.
“The Free Beacon funded the project from the fall of 2015 through the spring of 2016, whereupon it withdrew funding and the project was picked up by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
The original arrangement between the Free Beacon and Fusion GPS involved opposition research into multiple Republican candidates, not just front-runner Donald Trump.”
On Tuesday, three days before the revelations came to light, the Free Beacon reported that an “unknown GOP client” bankrolled Fusion GPS during the initial phase of its anti-Trump project.
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) October 27, 2017
Already some on the Left are trying to shape the narrative that Fusion GPS has some shred of bipartisan credibility for having worked with the Beacon, a conservative site. But, based on the site’s content and approach, the Free Beacon is clearly a NEO-conservative publication and Bill Kristol, the editor’s father-in-law, was involved in running Evan McMullin as a third-party challenger to Trump.
This despicable development in the case is made worse by the tactics that Fusion GPS is known to employ. Here is a tremendous Tucker Carlson segment on the shady opposition research firm co-founded by former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson initially to target Mitt Romney:
Here is the full statement from Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti and chairman Michael Goldfarb, a former operative for the John McCain 2008 presidential campaign:
“Since its launch in February of 2012, the Washington Free Beacon has retained third party firms to conduct research on many individuals and institutions of interest to us and our readers. In that capacity, during the 2016 election cycle we retained Fusion GPS to provide research on multiple candidates in the Republican presidential primary, just as we retained other firms to assist in our research into Hillary Clinton. All of the work that Fusion GPS provided to the Free Beacon was based on public sources, and none of the work product that the Free Beacon received appears in the Steele dossier. The Free Beacon had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele. Nor did we have any knowledge of the relationship between Fusion GPS and the Democratic National Committee, Perkins Coie, and the Clinton campaign.
Representatives of the Free Beacon approached the House Intelligence Committee today and offered to answer what questions we can in their ongoing probe of Fusion GPS and the Steele dossier. But to be clear: We stand by our reporting, and we do not apologize for our methods. We consider it our duty to report verifiable information, not falsehoods or slander, and we believe that commitment has been well demonstrated by the quality of the journalism that we produce. The First Amendment guarantees our right to engage in news-gathering as we see fit, and we intend to continue doing just that as we have since the day we launched this project.”
DISCLOSURE: I worked for The Washington Free Beacon as a political reporter from the company’s launch in January 2012 until November 2012, following Mitt Romney’s defeat in the presidential election before joining Mr. Carlson’s publication The Daily Caller. I had no knowledge at that time that Mr. Continetti, a good writer, and Mr. Goldfarb, a sharp political strategist, would be capable of the kind of poor judgment that led to this decision-making process. They, and Mr. Singer, have a lot of questions to answer.
We will update this report as more developments come to light.
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