On Thursday, Donald Trump's longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that on a 2013 trip to Moscow, he rejected a Russian offer to have five women come to Trump's hotel room.
That proffer of hospitality is one of the allegations in the Steele dossier, a former British spy's collection of intelligence about Trump's ties to Russia, to which the words "sordid," "infamous" and "unverified" seem to be permanently affixed. In the dossier, Trump accepted the company of the five women.
The dossier also introduced what's commonly called "the pee pee tape" — allegations that Trump hired prostitutes to join him in the presidential suite of a Moscow hotel and urinate on the bed in which President Obama and Michelle Obama slept on a trip to Russia. This was videotaped, the dossier says, and the Kremlin is blackmailing Trump with it.
- Celebrity deaths 2018: All the stars we lost too soon 46 Pictures
- Photos: Starbucks Reserve Roastery NYC reconnects you with your coffee 48 Pictures
As the Trump-Russia story unfolds, many of the dossier's claims have been corroborated, except the sexually related details. And they may never be, says a former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer, partly because the Kremlin is circulating fake Trump sex tapes that could discredit any evidence of his legitimate sexual misconduct.
Writing in the Observer, John Schindler says it's possible that, considering his sexual history (he once called avoiding STDs in the '70s "my Vietnam"), Trump has been caught on tape doing something sordid (beyond the "Access Hollywood tape," that is). "As many as a dozen intelligence services worldwide, on four continents, are in possession of some sort of “Trump tape” featuring sexual escapades of a controversial nature," says Schindler, who says he has interviewed "dozens of well-placed sources." to arrive at this conclusion. "In some cases, the women involved appear to be underage. Some of these tapes have been shared with the Mueller investigation."
One Western spy agency is in possession of a Trump sex tape that seems to be legit, Schindler reports. The problem: "Many of the 'Trump tapes' floating around in spy circles worldwide cannot be verified, while some of them are obvious fakes," he says. "It’s obvious to savvy Western counterspies that someone is spreading fake Trump tapes—not all of them high quality—to muddy the waters. The obvious suspect, of course, is the Kremlin. Since the Russians know all about President Trump’s decades of personal antics, including what kompromat exists on him, they appear to be pushing dubious and unverifiable tapes, some of them obviously fake, to create chaos and confusion."
It's doubtful, Schiller says, that any Trump sex tape could be verified solidly enough to be reported in the mainstream press. "Any bona fide tape would require not just rock-solid technical authentication, but also firming up the exact place and date of the incident, plus confirmation from the girl(s) caught on camera too," he writes. "That seems like an insurmountably high bar to clear at present."