As we all know by now, Buzzfeed released a dossier that had been circulating in Washington for months, that contained, among other things, allegations that Donald Trump paid prostitutes to urinate on each other in a Moscow hotel room. Supposedly, a former British intelligence agent named Christopher Steele, who holds extensive connections in Russia, was hired to collect “opposition research,” aka “oppo,” about Trump. (The BBC has reported that Steele and his firm were initially hired by Jeb Bush’s SuperPAC, but multiple people connected to Bush’s failed campaign have come forward to dispute the accusation, so who hired Steele is still unclear at this time.) The internet had jokes, and then Trump hit the roof, and the internet had more jokes, but that was just one page of a fascinating thirty-five-page collection of what could amount to gossip with a lot of dirt to dig through.
The most important point to make, at the moment, is that it’s unknown how much of the report is substantiated, which means that some media outlets — most notably the New York Times — don’t trust it. Even Buzzfeed, which published the dossier, states that it contains some errors. Nonetheless, it’s still fascinating to dig into and raises a host of potential red flags — once you get past the sensational aspect of the report centered around alleged sexual perversions — as it’s reasonable to assume that some parts of it may be true, given the spy credentials of the person who compiled it and the seriousness with which people in government took it (This made it all the way up to the president, after all). For benefit of those who don’t have time to read the entire report, here are the five main highlights.