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In tonight's episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, Ann Coulter said:

I mean, Hillary Clinton paid, through her campaign, 30 million dollars to Russian officials to get dirt on Trump

The full interview including the quote above can be seen on Youtube (starting at 8:32).

Is the statement accurate? Is there evidence that Hillary Clinton paid Russian officials 30 million dollars, through her campaign to get dirt on Trump?

  • 2
    "Did Hillary Clinton's campaign pay..." - She was only worth $45M in 2017. Her personally paying $30M through her campaign would be the silliest thing I've ever heard. – Mazura Jan 26 at 17:38
  • 1
    Your title places an interjection in the original context making it an even more ambiguous statement, unless read carefully. Did "Hillary Clinton [pay], through her campaign" 30 million dollars to get dirt on Trump? – Mazura Jan 26 at 17:41
  • @Mazura better like this? If not, feel free to edit. – JJJ Jan 26 at 23:08
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If we listen a couple of seconds longer, Coulter specifies that it's about the "fusion GPS story", so it's about the Trump-Russia dossier.

Cost of the dossier

There are a number of claims out there:

  • $168k paid by Fusion GPS to Orbis/Steel, according to Fusion GPS. This is the money - minus Steels salary and operational costs - that theoretically could have gone to Russian officials
  • $1.02M paid by the law firm of the DNC and the Clinton campaign to Fusion GPS, according to Fusion GPS. This is the total cost of the dossier.
  • $5.6 million / $12.4M paid by the Clinton campaign to Clintons law firm - this is likely where the following $6M/$12M claims originate. Clintons law firm likely performed other actions than only paying Fusion GPS.
  • $6M/$12M paid by Clinton, according to Trump (who didn't give sources for the claim).

I was unable to find any source putting the number at 30 million, even unsourced claims by Trump seem to be $12 million at most. The only sourced claim I could find is $1 million.

Who paid for the dossier

The money paid to Fusion GPS did not come from the Clinton campaign alone, but also from the DNC:

People involved in the matter said that they would not disclose the dollar amounts paid to Fusion GPS but that the [Hillary Clinton] campaign and the DNC shared the cost.

How was the money used

According to the Fusion GPS co-founder, Steel didn't pay his sources.

Conclusion

The cost of the dossier was $1 million paid by the DNC and the Clinton campaign to Fusion GPS, of which $168K were given to Steel.

Even the unsourced high end guesses of the costs of the dossier are well below $30 million, and only a tiny fraction of that could have gone to Russian officials.

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    Don't forget that the work by Fusion GPS was started and initially funded by Republican primary opponents of Trump. I don't know if there are any estimates of that portion of the work, and how they compare to the figures you include. – BradC Jan 29 at 17:08

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