The incoming chief of staff for Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. elect-John Fetterman helped launch an initiative after former President Donald Trump’s inauguration that breathlessly covered the Trump-Russia probe, during which it routinely accused the Republican president of colluding with Russia and propped up the since-debunked Steele Dossier as credible.
At the start of the Trump administration, Adam Jentleson co-founded The Moscow Project, an initiative launched by John Podesta’s Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF) and headed by Max Bergmann, a former John Kerry speechwriter. According to a 2017 report by Politico, Jentleson ran The Moscow Project’s war room.
According to its website, which has been archived since President Biden’s inauguration, The Moscow Project was “dedicated to analyzing the facts behind Trump’s collusion with Russia and communicating the findings to the public.”
On March 23, 2017, Jentleson tweeted that he was “very excited” about The Moscow Project and linked to a since-deleted copy of the infamous Steele dossier that was annotated by the project.
“If you’ve been wondering how much of the Steele dossier is backed up by fact, we annotated it here. (Hint: a lot.),” Jentleson wrote at the time.
The dossier by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele – controversially published in its raw form in 2017 by BuzzFeed News – alleged that Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election over Hillary Clinton and claimed that the Kremlin had blackmail material on the former president, including a tape of prostitutes urinating on him in a Moscow hotel.
The dossier served as the basis for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Trump campaign aide Carter Page, and it was originally commissioned by a research firm hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign lawyer Marc Elias. The 35-page dossier has since been repeatedly discredited and debunked, including by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s two-year investigation, which found no evidence of collusion.
“The Moscow Project helpfully annotated it for you,” Jentleson wrote of the dossier in April 2017. “Steele is former MI6 head of Russia desk.”
During Mueller’s investigation, Jentleson repeatedly accused Trump of collusion with Russia.
“If you’re not #ff @moscow_project it’s not too late to correct your mistake,” he tweeted in July 2018. “From the beginning, no one has tracked Trump/Russia collusion more aggressively or provided more valuable resources for context and analysis.”
“The evidence of collusion is already damning,” he tweeted in March 2018. “The only problem is it’s too obvious and obscured by the crush of breaking news. @moscow_project is an essential #ff for rapid response, analysis and context on Trump/Russia news.”
Fetterman hired Jentleson, who has been advising the incoming senator during his transition, to be his chief of staff, Politico reported this month. Jentleson was most recently the executive director of the Battle Born Collective, a progressive consulting group he founded, and had also recently worked for left-wing groups Democracy Forward and Center for American Progress.
Jentleson — who previously worked in top roles for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and for multiple liberal organizations — has repeatedly called for packing more seats on the Supreme Court and eliminating the filibuster, so much so that he wrote a book about it last year titled, “Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy.”
Jentleson penned an op-ed for the New York Times in September 2020, days after Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, calling on Democrats to brand Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation as “illegitimate” in order to pave the way for eventually eliminating the filibuster and packing the court.
Fetterman’s campaign has repeatedly said Fetterman does not support expanding the Supreme Court.
The campaign has distanced the incoming senator from Jentleson’s comments in the past, telling Fox News Digital for previous stories that “John Fetterman is his own man with his own views.”
The campaign recycled that statement when reached by Fox News Digital on Monday, saying, “John Fetterman is his own man with his own views; there is no one else like him in the US Senate. John is deeply proud of the team he is putting together for his Senate office. This should not be hard to understand.”