I've tried to go easy on Bob, but FEAR was, simply, a bad book: Bob "recreated" conversations that never happened—a cardinal sin in journalism—and after doing *zero* serious research or writing about the Trump-Russia issue, started mouthing off about it.
I'm embarrassed for him.
1/ Any even *casual* reader of this Twitter feed knows more about the Steele dossier than Bob does, and PROOF OF COLLUSION contains (I say advisedly) 100 times more intel on the Trump-Russia probe (including the dossier) than FEAR. On Russia, Bob should be *resoundingly* ignored.
2/ Normally I'd stay quiet on others' books unless I wanted to recommend them (as I do those by Unger, Corn, and Harding), but Bob writing a bad and disingenuous book was *one* thing—him now holding forth as someone who knows *anything* about the Russia probe is a bridge too far.
3/ Go to Bob's FEAR is you want a gossipy book about largely immaterial Trump White House minutiae—Soap Opera Digest stuff, with about one actually significant fact every ten pages or so—or totally made-up conversations "recalled" by Trump staffers, but that's about it, honestly.
4/ Frankly I was *stunned* when I opened up FEAR and saw totally fake, made-up "conversations" that had been self-servingly and self-aggrandizingly "recounted" by one party to the conversation—which was always a Trump staffer. I mean, putting words in *Mueller's* mouth? *Not* OK.
5/ So when Bob opines on a highly complex subject he *never researched*—using, presumably, the sense of things he got from (say) allowing Rob Porter to make himself sound like freaking *Aristotle* in the fake conversations Porter "recounted" to Bob—we know where he's coming from.
6/ And the *worst* part is that Bob is encouraging people like @JamesAGagliano, who don't want to read books like RUSSIAN ROULETTE or COLLUSION or HOUSE OF PUTIN, HOUSE OF TRUMP or PROOF OF COLLUSION but will salivate over nonsense from a guy who doesn't know this topic at *all*.
7/ The Mueller Report—over and over—vindicated Steele from the slanders and libels (I use those terms advisedly) cast against him by Trump's defenders, who put shilling for a career criminal (Trump) over *thanking* a Western intel ally who was trying to aid our national security.
8/ I respect Bob's work and, as I said, don't make a habit of denigrating others' books—which is why, when Bob published FEAR and let it be cast as a Trump-Russia book, I stayed mum. But now that Bob's demanding to be heard on a topic he doesn't understand, enough is enough. /end
You can follow @SethAbramson.
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