BuzzFeed editor: ‘Proud we published’ Trump dossier

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The editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed on Sunday defended the website’s decision to publish an unverified dossier alleging Russia has compromising information on President-elect Donald Trump.

“Absolutely not,” BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith told CNN’s “Reliable Sources” when asked if he had any regrets about publishing the unverified outside document, which began as opposition research and was compiled by a former British intel operative.

“We’re proud we published it. And I feel, three days later, it seems clear it was the right thing to do, if you look at how much more we know than we knew three days ago. And I think in three months, it will look even clearer,” he added.

{mosads}Smith said he thinks BuzzFeed was “well within the tradition of American journalism” in its decision.

“Every time you use the world alleged on your air, every time you see the word ‘alleged’ in print or on the web, that is saying we are repeating a claim we can’t verify,” he said.

“That is a totally within the standard, particularly of covering law enforcement.”

Smith said his publication asks why it shouldn’t share something when deciding what to publish.

“I think we are trying to best inform our audience to be true to our audience, to treat our audience with respect,” Smith said.

“I think you are too. I think these are different traditions of that.”
CNN on Tuesday reported that Trump had been briefed on a two-page summary of the document, but did not mention specific allegations included in the document.
BuzzFeed then published the document in full, a decision that sparked controversy.
The president-elect has strongly denied the allegations made in the dossier and attacked both BuzzFeed and CNN for its reporting, with Trump getting into a heated public exchange with CNN’s chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, at a press conference last week. 
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