Hours after CNN reported the existence of the now-infamous Steele Dossier on January 10, 2017 - choosing to withhold key details because they hadn't been "independently corroborated," BuzzFeed's Ben Smith decided to kick the door in - publishing the salacious and unverified document funded by Hillary Clinton and the DNC.
The decision seriously pissed off CNN's Jake Tapper - who emailed Smith later that day, writing "I think your move makes the story less serious and credible[.] I think you damaged its impact," according to emails released Friday and reported by the Daily Caller's Chuck Ross.
The emails were released in response to a federal judge’s order to unseal documents from a lawsuit against BuzzFeed, which was sued in February 2017 by a Russian businessman who was accused in the dossier of being a Russian agent.
Lawyers for the Russian, Aleksej Gubarev, picked out the Tapper-Smith exchange in hopes of showing BuzzFeed failed to do its due diligence before publishing the dossier, which was funded by Democrats and compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. -Daily Caller
"That was pretty uncollegial[.] Not to mention irresponsible[.] No one has verified this stuff," Tapper continued.
Smith replied, saying that publishing the dossier was "not an easy call," to which Tapper responded "Collegiality wise it was you stepping on my dick," adding "You could have waited til morning."
"Professionally this is unverified info[.] Your guys unlike us don’t even seem to know who the former agent i[s]," Tapper continued, seemingly referring to dossier author Christopher Steele.
Smith replied that "of course" he knew who wrote the dossier.
Three years and many investigations later, the Dossier was proven to be a hoax, the FBI was revealed to have spied on Trump's campaign, manipulated evidence, and lied to the FISA court - and Democrats pivoted to Ukraine in their unsuccessful attempt to remove Trump from office.