There has been a lot of Sturm und Drang surrounding Donald Trump since he took office. For all of that, very little has been heard in the first three weeks of his presidency about the prospect that Russia not only had a thumb on the scale for the Donald, but may have actually compromised him. However, less than 24 hours after it looked like Trump had completely buried this story, two major developments caused Trump’s Russia ties to explode back into the spotlight–bigly.

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We already know about one of them. It now looks like now-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn may have discussed the 11th-hour sanctions President Obama slapped on the Kremlin with Russia’s ambassador to the United States a month before Trump took office–a move which would be blatantly illegal if true. But just before the close of business for the week, we learned of a more ominous development that is far nearer and dearer to Trump. American investigators have been able to confirm some of the details contained in the dossier that reportedly contains details of how Russia compromised him.

CNN’s Jim Scuitto and Evan Perez broke the story on Friday’s edition of “The Lead with Jake Tapper.” Watch here.

For now, American intelligence and law enforcement have been unable to confirm the most lurid portions of the dossier–the claims that Russian security agents watched Trump engage in graphic sexual acts, including “golden showers.” However, they have been able to verify that a number of conversations between senior Kremlin officials and other Russian individuals that were described in the dossier did indeed take place.

Investigators were able to corroborate these conversations based on intelligence intercepts of Russian nationals during routine mining of intelligence information. They showed some of the conversations that were captured in the dossier indeed took place at the same times and in the same places described in the dossier. Many of those conversations involved individuals involved in the Russian effort to kneecap Hillary Clinton. Perez noted that the dossier contained details of about a dozen conversations, and investigators were trying to get a sense of the credibility of the dossier’s author, former British agent Christopher Steele.

For obvious reasons, Scuitto and Perez’ sources did not specify what conversations have been corroborated as of yet, or the content of those conversations. However, the information that has been confirmed has given investigators much more confidence in the dossier’s contents.

The White House’s response was predictable. Press secretary Sean Spicer dismissed it as yet another example of “CNN’s fake news reporting.” Later, Spicer called Perez back and harrumphed that this was “more fake news.” As we now know, this is the White House’s standard response to any stories or polls it doesn’t like. If that wasn’t enough, Spicer told CNN that it ought to focus on all the good Trump has done.

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So Spicer–and through him, Trump–are effectively calling the people chasing these allegations down liars. They also believe that the American people have no right to know about the prospect that the president of the United States has been compromised. Process that for a moment.

The White House’s “(noun) (verb) fake news” response to this story is downright laughable, and would be if this were the only development related to the dossier. But taken with what we knew before Friday, it’s even more so. Our intelligence agents not only found the dossier serious enough to alert both Trump and Obama about it, but were also concerned enough to tell their Israeli counterparts not to share classified information with Trump until they were sure he hadn’t been compromised.

And a number of other intelligence agencies around the world think the information in that dossier is credible as well. Western European intelligence sources passed it to Israel, and Israeli agents in turn passed it to BuzzFeed. Regrettably, BuzzFeed didn’t include this information when it first published the dossier in January. Had it done so, it’s very likely that we would be a lot closer to peeling this onion all the way back.

This story went to air just as Tapper’s show was about to sign off for the week at 5 pm Eastern. As of Friday night Eastern time, there has been no rage tweet from Trump himself. Perhaps Trump, as narcissistic as he is, knows that CNN has him busted. Or perhaps he knows that there may be more to come.

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