For years, the group Fusion GPS has been hired by the left to smear high-profile conservatives – including President Donald Trump and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney – with its latest slander job targeting the maker of the sting video that exposed Planned Parenthood’s selling of aborted baby body parts.
Before it commissioned the Trump dossier, the Fusion GPS “research” firm reportedly targeted a major donor of Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign against former President Barack Obama. It was reported several years ago how Kimberly Strassel exposed the details on how Romney was smeared by the Obama campaign.
“As Ms. Strassel has reported in recent columns, Idaho businessman Frank VanderSloot has become the target of a smear campaign since it was disclosed earlier this year that he had donated $1 million to a super PAC supporting Mr. Romney,” the Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote back in May 2012. “President Obama’s campaign website teed him up in April as one of eight ‘less than reputable’ Romney donors and a ‘bitter foe of the gay rights movement.’ One sin: His wife donated to an anti-gay-marriage campaign – of the kind that have passed in 30 or so states.”
It was also noted that a former Democratic Senate staffer contacted the courthouse in VanderSloot’s hometown of Idaho Falls to obtain his divorce records, and Strassel was able to identify the operative as Michael Wolf, who worked for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS “commercial research firm.”
The connection was not denied when investigative reporting looked into the matter, and in fact, it was asserted that VanderSloot deserved to be slandered.
“Fusion GPS is run by a former Wall Street Journal reporter, Glenn Simpson, who wouldn’t say who is paying him for this high-minded slumming, but said in an email that Mr. VanderSloot was a ‘legitimate’ target because of ‘his record on gay issues,’” Breitbart reported.
The smearing continues
Fusion’s smear services were contacted at a later date when Planned Parenthood wanted to get negative publicity off its back by discrediting its accuser in the baby body parts scandal.
“Fusion GPS was also hired by Planned Parenthood to perform a forensic evaluation on a series of videos released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and its project leader David Daleiden in the summer of 2015,” Breitbart’s Susan Berry noted. “Fusion GPS’s analysis of the videos helped Planned Parenthood create the narrative that the videos exposing its alleged potentially criminal profiteering from the sales of aborted fetal tissue were ‘deceptively edited.’”
The so-called analysis administered by Fusion GPS was covered by the left-leaning media.
“A report commissioned by Planned Parenthood has found that the sting videos targeting its tissue donation practices contain intentionally deceptive edits and inaccurately transcribed conversations and are missing footage,” Politico reported in a story headlined ‘Report for Planned Parenthood Finds Sting Videos Manipulated,’ back in August 2015. “A report commissioned by Planned Parenthood has found that the sting videos targeting its tissue donation practices contain intentionally deceptive edits and inaccurately transcribed conversations and are missing footage.”
Yet it was also pointed out in the Politico report that it was quite possible that the conversations recorded in the video could actually be perfectly legitimate, and that Fusion was politically – and financially – motivated to do all it could to delegitimize the video and its maker.
“But there is no evidence that the anti-abortion group behind the attack made up dialogue,” Politico’s report added. “[T]he firm also wrote that it is impossible to characterize the extent to which the edits and cuts distort the meaning of the conversations depicted and that there was no ‘widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation.’ The report by research firm Fusion GPS attempts to undermine the videos’ political, legal and journalistic value.”
Subsequently, it has been established that CMP’s baby body parts videos were not manipulated after all.
“A subsequent analysis of the videos was then conducted by Coalfire – a third-party forensics company hired by pro-life Alliance Defending Freedom,” Berry informed. “This second analysis found that the videos were ‘not manipulated’ and that they are ‘authentic.’”
It has also been confirmed that former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton – an ardent promoter of Planned Parenthood and still a fervent adversary of Trump – has ties to Fusion GPS.
“[F]ederal records show a key co-founder and partner in the [Fusion GPS] firm was a Hillary Clinton donor and supporter of her presidential campaign,” the New York Post’s Paul Sperry wrote. “In September 2016, while Fusion GPS was quietly shopping the dirty dossier on Trump around Washington, its co-founder and partner Peter R. Fritsch contributed at least $1,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund and the Hillary For America campaign, Federal Election Commission data show. His wife also donated money to Hillary’s campaign. Property records show that in June 2016, as Clinton allies bankrolled Fusion GPS, Fritsch bought a six-bedroom, five-bathroom home in Bethesda, Md., for $2.3 million.”
More Fusion collusion
There have also been other indications that Fusion GPS has its own motivations behind generating malicious rumors and accusations against Trump – besides the money produced by its clients.
“Fritsch, who served as the Journal’s bureau chief in Mexico City and has lectured at the liberal Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, married into a family with Mexican business interests,” Berry explained. “His wife, Beatriz Garcia, formerly worked as an executive at Grupo Dina, a manufacturer of trucks and buses in Mexico City that benefits from NAFTA, which Trump opposes. Fritsch’s Fusion GPS partner Thomas Catan, who grew up in Britain, once edited a business magazine in Mexico. A third founding partner, Glenn Simpson, is reported to have shared dark views of both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump. Before joining Fusion GPS, Simpson did opposition research for a former Clinton White House operative.”
Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) were also exposed for their April 2016 funding of Fusion GPS through the Perkins Coie law firm – a group to which the Obama For America (OFA) presidential campaign organization paid just shy of $1 million.
“The timing and nature of the payments to Perkins Coie by Obama’s official campaign arm raise significant questions about whether OFA was funding Fusion GPS, how much Obama and his team knew about the contents and provenance of the dossier long before its contents were made public, and whether the president or his government lieutenants knowingly used a partisan political document to justify official government actions targeting the president’s political opponents named in the dossier,” reported Federalist Co-founder Sean Davis, who cited a Washington Post report noting that Coie was the first to retain the two groups.
And the smear campaign did not end there.
“In further analysis of the funding of Fusion GPS’s Trump ‘Russiagate’ dossier project, same-sex marriage, Common Core, and amnesty supporter Paul Singer – who also funded the Washington Free Beacon – initially hired Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Trump, but abandoned his effort after Trump won the GOP nomination,” Berry announced. “In recent years, Planned Parenthood has joined with other leftwing groups in promoting gay and transgender rights, amnesty and taxpayer-funded abortion for illegal immigrants. Both former President Barack Obama and failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have been ardent champions of the abortion vendor.”
Media and pro-abortion ties
The leftist news network CNN also has ties to the smear group dedicated to championing progressive ideals.
“CNN’s justice correspondent Evan Perez, who has reported extensively on the Russia investigation and the Trump dossier, is close personal friends with Fusion GPS’s founders, according to a report by the Daily Caller,” Breitbart announced in another report last week.
The intricate connection between CNN and Fusion GPS cannot be denied, and the smear group’s ties to the mainstream media are not only through CNN.
“Thomas Caton … worked as a reporter at the Wall Street Journal at the same time as Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and CNN’s justice department correspondent Evan Perez,” Berry explained. “It was Perez who reported the FBI used the dossier to obtain a surveillance warrant on associates of the Trump campaign. Simpson, Caton, and Peter Fritsch – a senior national security editor at WSJ – were the three co-founders of Fusion GPS. Neil King – another former WSJ reporter – also joined Fusion GPS.”
Human Rights Foundation (HRF) Founder Thor Halvorssen exposed Fusion GPS for its underhanded dealings when he provided testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.
“[Fusion GPS is a group of] highly paid smear experts,” Halvorssen proclaimed, according to the Daily Caller.
A former associate of Halvorssen, who also served with HRF, asserted that he was falsely accused by Fusion GPS of being a pedophile, a drug addict and a sexual deviant.
“Fusion is basically a pen-for-hire shop, whose owners are prepared to concoct completely spurious stories that are fed to media contacts developed over years of legitimate work in reputable outlets,” Boyd insisted, according to Breitbart.
This sentiment about Fusion GPS was corroborated by Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver, whose Christian legal firm represented CMP in its legal battle with Planned Parenthood.
"The videos are shocking and reveal a callous disregard for human life," Staver commented, according to CBN News. "It is no surprise that Planned Parenthood hired Fusion GPS to create a fake report. Fusion GPS is the same company hired by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to produce fake news."