Newly released court documents reveal that a former State Department official and associate of the late John McCain called the journalist who published the Steele dossier and begged him to take the story down, according to the Daily Caller.
The 2017 deposition of David Kramer reveals new insight into what led to the Steele dossier release. Kramer claims that after the dossier was published on Buzzfeed, he called journalist Ken Bensinger, worried about the possible repercussions.
“The first words out of my mouth were, ‘You are gonna get people killed!’” said Kramer.
After being questioned by Bensinger, Kramer said he replied, “By posting this, you will put people’s lives in danger … Please take it down.”
According to a report released on Thursday, Kramer met with many journalists and officials at the request of Christopher Steele, who authored the “Trump dossier.” According to Kramer, the journalist had knowledge of the document prior to their meeting and wanted to be briefed on the information.
“I’m not in a position to verify or refute this, but that it seemed to me to be serious enough to be looked at in a professional way, and that professional journalists were arguably in a position to look into the matter,” Kramer allegedly said to Bensinger during the meeting.
However, Kramer warned that the information “was only supposed to have been released or posted and published if it had been verified.” Kramer “stressed to him the sensitivity of it … that it had to be handled very carefully. And he agreed.”
After Bensinger requested to take pictures of the document, Kramer claimed that he was apprehensive and requested him not to, leaving him instead to read over the document. Yet Bensinger took the photos despite Kramer’s alleged requested and published them soon after.
While Buzzfeed has gotten into hot water for the release of the documents due to its uncorroborated nature, but ultimately has come out unscathed.