Michael Cohen’s cell phone pinged in Prague, just as the Steele Dossier claimed


Well, this is certainly interesting. Back in the day, when the Steele Dossier was first revealed by Buzzfeed, many of us (myself included) concentrated on the most salacious details, like the possible existence of a pee tape. But Christopher Steele was a quality investigator and intelligence officer who had connections far and wide, and one of the claims in the dossier was that Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, had gone to Prague to meet with Russian officials in the heat of the 2016 campaign. Cohen denied the dossier’s claim repeatedly. Well, guess what?

A mobile phone traced to President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen briefly sent signals ricocheting off cell towers in the Prague area in late summer 2016, at the height of the presidential campaign, leaving an electronic record to support claims that Cohen met secretly there with Russian officials, four people with knowledge of the matter say.

During the same period of late August or early September, electronic eavesdropping by an Eastern European intelligence agency picked up a conversation among Russians, one of whom remarked that Cohen was in Prague, two people familiar with the incident said.

The phone and surveillance data, which have not previously been disclosed, lend new credence to a key part of a former British spy’s dossier of Kremlin intelligence describing purported coordination between Trump’s campaign and Russia’s election meddling operation.

The dossier, which Trump has dismissed as “a pile of garbage,” said Cohen and one or more Kremlin officials huddled in or around the Czech capital to plot ways to limit discovery of the close “liaison” between the Trump campaign and Russia.

[From McClatchy]

I’m not going to pretend that this is the smoking gun – it’s not. It’s not great for Cohen or Trump, but it’s not a smoking gun. What strikes me is how, long-term, how MUCH of Steele’s work has ended up being verified independently though. There really is nothing in the dossier which has been flatly false or wrong. The broad strokes and many of the details are turning out to be completely true. Which means… the pee tape is probably true too, right?


Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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65 Responses to “Michael Cohen’s cell phone pinged in Prague, just as the Steele Dossier claimed”

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  1. Rapunzel says:

    The Prague thing is interesting, as is the new claim about a nude selfie being in Mueller’s possession. I do hope we never see said selfie though.

    I wonder however if this Prague thing really isn’t Cohen being in the Czech Republic as much as maybe Junior using Cohen’s phone. Junior has a Czech mommy and speaks the language and is familiar with the country. No real evidence for this though.

    • Darla says:

      Yeah he may have lent the phone to someone for some reason. Yesterday he tweeted that he’s never been to Prague and “Mueller knows all”. Not that I believe his word, but this is a possibility.

      • jwoolman says:

        But why would Cohen lend his phone to anybody? Especially somebody going to Prague, a place he wants to deny he has ever seen?

        I think he must have been in Prague when the dossier says he was, simply because he was so intent on lying about his passport proving he wasn’t there because it wasn’t stamped. But he knows very well that they don’t even check your passport when you travel from Germany or Italy to Prague and vice versa. That’s how the European Union works. Free travel between countries once you’ve entered the EU. It’s like going between states in the USA. There would be no stamp. The only reason to lie about that would be to cover up his visit. He counted on Americans not knowing that no stamp is needed.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        As for “why” he would have lent a phone, he’s the fixer for the Trump family. He’s been enabling their crimes for years. He has tons of burner phones, so maybe he hooked a Trump family member up before they were knowingly going to commit a crime.

        That being said…the dossier has been very accurate. If it said others were talking about Cohen specifically being in Prague, I’m having a hard time believing Cohen over Steele.

      • isabelle says:

        He could be lying because they want to surprise Jr with the arrest and throw Donnie off form Mueller.

      • Megan says:

        We know it was Cohen because he is the worst wannabe gangster ever. He didn’t even have the good sense to buy a burner phone when he got to Prague.

      • Fluffy Princess says:

        @Tiffany — oh I like the idea about him having all the burner phones and he gave one out. He did get raided and FBI got 16 burners from his office. I mean, he’s not the sharpest pencil in the box, if those burner phones were in his name (which is so dumb), and he gave one to someone on their way to Prague — then that could work.

        I think he’s lying to the press. He keeps saying “Mueller knows everything.”

        Also, whichever intelligence agency had this information — why release it now? Why not months ago, last year, or right after it happened? Something must be ready to go down in a big, big way. <– keeping fingers crossed!

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        Keeping a used burner phone defies common sense. Unless he wanted them for blackmail or leverage. All involved in this trump mess are idiots.

      • The Other Katherine says:

        @jwoolman, he would have gotten a stamp in his country of entry (whatever that might have been) into the Schengen area IF he was traveling on a U.S. passport, but we, the general public, have no way to know if he has citizenship elsewhere as well. He could hold an Israeli passport or have purchased citizenship in one of several island nations, or have acquired some other foreign passport through some quirk of ancestry we don’t know about. If he used a non-U.S. passport to clear immigration when entering Schengen, his U.S. passport’s lack of stamps does not mean a single solitary thing. Showing it off was always a sure sign of a con job, IMO.

    • Louisa says:

      What’s the story behind the nude selfie? Do we know if it’s Individual 1 and who it was sent to? And why is it relevant (and not just vomit inducing)?

      • Diana says:

        I’d like to know this too!

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Is the nude selfie “kompromat”? Aka used as blackmail by Russia, similar to pee tape?

      • Fluffy Princess says:

        No matter who it is, ugh!

        Who in this whole crime syndicate is out there sending d*** picks to people?? Hahahahahaha! I mean, it’s part of official evidence now!

        That’s what you get for sending nude selfies when you are party of a criminal conspiracy. LOL!

    • Murphy says:

      Why would he lend the phone? Both of them could have a new pre-programmed phone every day of the year so I just don’t get that part.

    • Trashaddict says:

      “Nude selfie”? Please stop, you’re hurting my eyes even imagining it!

  2. Lightpurple says:

    The FBI routinely subpoenas cell phone records as part of such investigations so Mueller has known of these calls for quite a while.,

    There’s a pee pee tape. Probably more than one.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Yes and possibly a nude selfie of either Uday, Cohen, Manafort or someone close to IQ45. Maybe even IQ 45 himself in all his toadstool glory. In that case keep it hidden away. Stormy description was enough.

      • Elkie says:

        What else was the Presidential Text Alert System test for, if not in preparation the nude selfie?!!

        I don’t wish to alarm you, but Trump did say that only he knew how to solve the abortion problem, presumably by ensuring no-one ever has sex again…

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        @elkie. Argh my eyes r burning. And yes that would do the trick. Lol.

      • Megan says:

        I need to bleach my brain as soon as I am done vomiting.

      • Megan says:

        Maybe the nude selfie is Ivanka.

  3. Darla says:

    I’ve always believed the pee tape story, because it’s too sick to make up and it IS Trump.

    • isabelle says:

      Steele is a TOP the TOP of what he does, a stellar record and highly respected. There is no way the Dossier is untrue.

    • PunkyMomma says:

      I’ve always believed the pee-tape, too.

      Cheeto loves to humiliate people (see reports regarding Tillerson being canned while being “on the can”; Kelly may have delivered the message, but make no mistake, the lack of discretion was all Cheeto’s).

      It does not surprise me in the least that Cheeto would indulge in golden showers, whether as a voyeur or participant. Humiliation is a turn-on for him.

    • Megan says:

      Given the magnitude of Trump’s crimes, the pee tape feels pretty irrelevant at this point. I’m much more interested in the money laundering and tax evasion.

  4. grabbyhands says:

    Initially the idea of the pee tape (to me) was a hilarious but unlikely thing.

    Two years into this nightmare, I am now convinced that it is real – it is exactly the type of gross, juvenile, spiteful thing that would be right up 45’s alley and I could see them indulging his toddler antics in order to secure a deal.

    • jwoolman says:

      It is likely true simply because 1) Trump tried to lie about his wearabouts, 2) Trump dismissed his bodyguard rather than keeping him on duty in the middle of Moscow precisely at the time it would have happened, and 3) Trump was obsessed with talking about it to Comey, even claiming not pursuing it was to protect his wife (yes, the one he cheats on every chance he gets).

      I never understood why Trump was worried about it. He’s not shy. If the tape surfaces, he can always claim it was a fake, which would be believable because the Russians are known for faking sex tapes to neutralize people Putin doesn’t like. Of course. Trump will probably try to blame Obama and Hillary …. Ewwww.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        There is clearly something in that tape that worries him and as others point out below it’s possible it’s underage girls, he likes them young given his behaviour around the teenage Miss World competitors.

  5. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Of course pee tape is true. It’s always opposite day at our nation’s day care. And it’s always been. Day one was simultaneously the first and last day of ‘normalcy.’ Yeah, I invoked Warren Harding lol.

    ‘America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity; not the dramatic, but the dispassionate; not experiment, but equipoise; not submergence in internationality, but sustainment in triumphant nationality.’ Apropos? (Probably not… We’re as lost as white on rice on a paper plate in a snowstorm).

  6. Louisa says:

    I have never doubted the pee tape story and I can see why he might want to keep that hidden during the campaign or early in his presidency, but now? Unless it’s clearly underage girls (who would be therefore trafficking victims and not prostitutes) I don’t think his base or the GOP will have a problem with it. I’m sure they’ll find it hilarious.

    • Rapunzel says:

      I agree. I think it is either boys/men or really undeniably young girls. Or Ivanka.

    • Aren says:

      That’s a very good point. I never understood why a pee tape would be so bad (it made Kim famous after all), but there really should be something else going on, because even underage girls wouldn’t be considered a crime by his followers.

      • Louisa says:

        I don’t know, I think even the GOP would have to do something if it was young girls. His 20 – 30% base who will never leave him may excuse it, but if the GOP start defending the sex trafficking of underage girls……I honestly can’t imagine.

      • Embee says:

        Indeed. We will be treated to the explanation that it wasn’t illegal in Russia therefore he did no wrong.

        I have no idea if it is illegal in Russia I just feel certain that’s what Hannity and the other propaganda mouthpieces will spew.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      When it comes to blackmail, it doesn’t always matter if the “reveal” would be damaging. It only matters that the person being blackmailed *thinks* it would damage them.

      Just like with Trump paying off Stormy Daniels and the Playboy model. We look at it now and see his followers probably wouldn’t have cared. Even so, the thought of it getting out threatened Trump so much that he paid them off right before the election.

      In order to be compromised, all Trump needed to feel was that Russia had something they could use to blackmail him.

  7. Honey bear says:

    Look, you guys. Trump is going down in 2019 and this great national embarrassment will be over. Joe Biden WILL be our next president (after Pence) and this will go on record as one of the biggest mistakes in United States history.

    • isabelle says:

      OK… man you have a lot of optimism. The Senate is still need for the true impeachment of Trump and Rethugs still have control of the Senate. Don’t trust them as far as I could throw the whole party to do the right thing for America. Now orange jello is in big trouble if he does leave (by some Senate miracle )or has to leave eventually. FEDs won’t ignore him once he sets foots out of POTUS

    • Penguen says:

      From your lips to the universe’s ears.

    • Tw says:

      I agree.

    • Megan says:

      I like to think Pence will go down with Trump and Nancy Pelosi will be the next president.

  8. sheilaj1 says:

    This whole business is making me wonder if Cohen is setting up Mueller, just as Manafort tried to do. Cohen still denies he was in Prague, so whether he’s lying or not it seems to make him such an unreliable witness that he’s useless. No one, including Mueller, can know when Cohen’s telling the truth or not. Only other thing I can think of is if Cohen claims he lent his phone to someone else, but that’s going to definitely raise more than a few eyebrows.

    • jwoolman says:

      Lying to media and on Twitter doesn’t mean he is lying to Mueller, who has loads of other charges he can bring against Cohen but thinks Cohen is being truthful with the investigators. His reward for cooperating is that he only gets a few charges thrown at him – at the moment. Cohen will be testifying later and may have been advised to keep quiet about this particular part of his testimony until he is under oath.

    • Louisa says:

      Has it been proven (via passport stamp) that Cohen was in another European country at the time in question? I can’t seem to find an answer for that. Meaning did he land in say, Germany, and get his passport stamped there? (then he could move freely to Prague)
      If he doesn’t show any stamp in his passport then he couldn’t have been in Prague.

      • sheilaj1 says:

        That sounds right but I have no knowledge of how your passport is processed when you go to another country in some rich person’s private plane. Maybe on a private plane its easier to bypass whatever they do with the passports of us lowly economy fliers 🙂 Put a bit differently, maybe he was able to sneak in.

      • K8typat says:

        He was in Italy around the same time.

  9. Tw says:

    Let’s be real. Every word in the dossier is credible

  10. Ann says:

    I know Trumpers are willing to overlook pretty much anything but maybe kinky sex stuff will be the last straw for them. I’m thinking of the Evangelicals, specifically. Probably not but a girl can dream. They’ll probably call another mulligan if he did let Russian hookers pee on him, but maybe, just maybe… all their weird repressed sex issues will be the breaking point??

    • Embee says:

      I thought the allegation was not that he allowed them to pee on him, but that he paid them to pee on the bed where the Obama’s slept because he has a psychotic obsession with decimating Obama because Obama made everyone laugh at him at the White House correspondents dinner (and is his superior in every way).

    • Megan says:

      When it all comes out in the wash, I think we will find evangelical leaders like Jerry Falwell Jr. are also on Russia’s payroll, which is why they stand by Trump no matter what he does.

  11. Eric says:

    85% of the information in the Steele dossier has been proven true and there’s still the 15% not available to the public…yet.

    It is my belief that Don Jr is wrapped up in the Prague case (as Cohen is implying) and that an indictment will be dropping soon for him. It’d be great if Mueller could bookend the New Year with major news regarding Jr and Jared. Emperor Zero’s rage-tweets about the “wall” and closing the southern border are distraction tweets and are being used to feed an increasingly disenfranchised base who need a panacea for what we all know is coming:

    An indictment parade.


  12. Tiffany :) says:

    If anyone needs a heart warming story, the Washington Post has an article about Mollie Tibbet’s mom. Mollie was a college student at the University of Iowa who was killed by an “illegal immigrant” who worked at the local dairy farm. After her murder, immigrants became fearful because of all the hate directed at them (thanks in large part to Trump), and so they fled.

    Mollie’s mom has taken in the teenage son of a family that had to flee. The strength of this woman to be a good person in light of such tragedy, to be able to separate each human from the group they may belong to, it really touched me. She’s an inspiration.

    • lucy2 says:

      I saw the headline but didn’t have the emotional strength to read the story yet. What an extraordinary person. People like that give me hope for us all.

  13. Lala11_7 says:

    When I saw who put together the dossier…


    Like the real life James Bond isn’t going to get the REAL GOODS when his livelihood depends on doing…EXACTLY THAT!

    • jwoolman says:

      Yes, Steele has an excellent reputation among other intelligence people, including ours. He’s not careless and he’s not sensationalist. His specialty when with British intelligence was Russia, which is why he had such good sources there.

      Steele wanted to get the privately funded dossier into the hands of the FBI because he knew it was involving violations of US law and interference in our election and the prospect of a US President so closely tied to Putin frightened him. The American research company that hired him was run by a guy equally concerned. I think they weren’t going to drop it even if they didn’t find a second client to fund the rest of it. The original client was a conservative outfit investigating all the Republican primary candidates. The dossier was at least 80% done when the Democrats took over funding as opposition research. I don’t think Steele knew who the client was, though.

      The Democrats seemed to never use any of it in public, possibly because the FBI had to confirm it. But Hillary Clinton was very much aware of the dangers of Trump in the White House, so she may have known about their ties to Russia along with the public weird statements by Trump about how lovely Putin is. Hillary had direct experience with the lovely Putin while Secretary of State. She never blinked. I saw a photo of the two of them in a room and from body language it was obvious that Hillary was the alpha. That’s why Putin hated her so much and was determined to either get Trump elected or use Trump to neutralize and distract President Hillary Clinton.

      When Steele got nervous about it being lost in the shuffle, he took it to John McCain who did not ignore it. I imagine that’s one of the reasons McCain was not pledging fealty to Trump like so many other Republicans. He knew what this all meant.

  14. lucy2 says:

    I feel like we have an entire armory of smoking guns at this point, but we’ll see if anything actually happens.
    I never doubted the dossier’s truth. Everything that has come out about Dump so far has been unbelievable, but true, so why wouldn’t that all be true as well?