Newsweek, August 2023
Throughout the Trump presidency, the mainstream media constantly suggested that Russia had so-called “kompromat” on the president—embarrassing materials used as a weapon of influence through blackmail. We all remember the daily deluge: “Does Russia have Kompromat on Trump?” CNN asked. “A Russian Word Americans Need To Know: ‘Kompromat,'” Greg Myre wrote at NPR, concluding that “Russia may have compromising material on President-elect Donald Trump.”
The Guardian agreed, writing there was “apparent confirmation that the Kremlin possesses kompromat, or potentially compromising material, on Trump… that happened during Trump’s trips to Moscow.” Jonathan Chait wrote in New York Magazine that Russia had “secret leverage over Trump,” and “a great deal of incriminating information was confirmed,” a claim reiterated by the BBC in an article called “Russia and the art of ‘kompromat’.”
The Washington Post was obsessed with the conspiracy theory, publishing numerous articles about it, as did the Daily Beast with a steady stream of articles. Even the New York Times promoted the conspiracy theory that Russia had kompromat on the President, based on a brief meeting attended by one of Trump’s sons in Trump Tower. Entire books were written on all the kompromat that the Kremlin supposedly had on President Trump, which were eagerly cited across mainstream media.