Trump 2020 Adviser Katrina Pierson Calls on John McCain to Answer Dossier Questions, Gets Trolled on Twitter

A senior adviser to President Trump's 2020 re-election campaign raised eyebrows this week after tweeting a year-old article that appeared to demand answers about political interference from Senator John McCain—who has been dead for four months.

Katrina Pierson, who previously served as the Trump campaign's national spokesperson in 2016, tweeted Thursday in reaction to a news story that captured the attention of conservative media outlets. It emerged that an associate of the late U.S. senator had allegedly shared a copy of the so-called Steele Dossier with news publication Buzzfeed, which posted it online.

In a now widely mocked post that has been circulated more than 1,000 times, Pierson wrote: "Since everyone is just now realizing his staffers role in the #RussiaHoax. We have been asking questions! John McCain Still Refuses to Answer Questions About His Role in the Dossier."

The last sentence was the title of a November 2017 blog post on Pierson's personal website. For an unknown reason, the Trump staffer chose to include it in the December 20 update to her hundreds of thousands of followers.

Twitter users, as they tend to do, reacted quickly to the post. "Have you considered hiring a medium to assist with that?" one top comment read. Memes were posted. Jokes were made. Retweets mounted. "He's dead," read one helpful reply.

Read more: Why the Trump presidency cannot be annulled

Since everyone is just now realizing his staffers role in the #RussiaHoax We have been asking questions! John McCain Still Refuses to Answer Questions About His Role in the Dossier

— Katrina Pierson (@KatrinaPierson) December 21, 2018

Pierson later responded to the growing criticism. "You guys are so dumb," she wrote. "Reading the tweet is obviously difficult for you. It clearly refers to the 'staffer' in today's news headlines. lol That article is OVER A YEAR OLD." She included the hashtag #RussiaHoax.

McCain's involvement in the 17 reports compiled by former British MI6 officer Christopher Steele that emerged in 2016 has long been the subject of fierce coverage by U.S. conservative media outlets, some of which remain skeptical about the motives and funding of the raw intelligence reports.

It was alleged in court filings this week McCain had asked an associate called David Kramer to meet with Steele, and Kramer later passed details from the documents to a Buzzfeed writer.

As reported by The New York Times, the Florida filings were linked to a defamation lawsuit brought by Aleksej Gubarev, the head of a company named in the 35-page dossier—filled with unverified intelligence collected about Trump campaign officials' alleged ties to the Russian government. Buzzfeed won the case on Wednesday after Judge Ursula Ungaro ruled that it had been protected by fair report privilege.

In 2015, a company called Fusion GPS was hired by conservative website The Washington Free Beacon to conduct research on Trump. The next year, the same firm was hired by a law firm linked to Hillary Clinton's campaign, which then employed Steele. Buzzfeed dropped a bombshell in January 2017 by publishing the dossier in full.