From Alistair Sloane at Al Jazeera:
Imagine a hypothetical situation: A former FSB officer provides a "dirty dossier" about US presidential candidate Hilary Clinton. He has left the Russian intelligence services and now operates his own private intelligence firm, with the implicit approval of the FSB.
Once the dirty dossier is published, its accuracy and sourcing is widely questioned - and even whether the media should have reported on the allegations at all. That FSB officer is then outed in the US press, but the Russian authorities put out a gagging order on their domestic media preventing reporting about him. That quickly proves pointless - as we live in the internet age.
Once his name is made public, a range of anonymous Russian security sources brief the Russian press that the officer is a "highly regarded professional," and former colleagues rally around him, saying much the same. His reputation is bolstered in order to make the allegations made against Clinton seem more credible. How would the US press respond?
This is in fact exactly what has just happened during Trump's final approach to the White House, except it wasn't the FSB - it was the British Secret Intelligence Service, colloquially known as MI6, and it wasn't a former FSB officer turned private investigator, it was Chris Steele, a former MI6 agent. He is now in hiding and the subject of excited media speculation here in the UK.GO READ THE WHOLE THING.