UPDATE: As of January 12, the company had received three claims for the million dollar reward.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—From what the public already knows of President-elect Donald Trump, there have been plenty of anecdotes regarding abberant sex, whether it's claiming he would date his own daughter, to propositioning adult performers like Stormy Daniels and Jessica Drake, to telling Access Hollywood co-host Billy Bush, "You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it, you can do anything ... Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything." Before the election's end, Larry Flynt was offering cash for "verifiable video footage or audio recordings clearly showing Donald Trump engaging in illegal activity or acting in a sexually demeaning or derogatory manner."
So perhaps it's not so surprising to many that reports have surfaced that Trump, while staying in the Ritz Carlton Hotel's Presidential Suite in Moscow, hired a couple of sex workers to pee on the bed allegedly because he hated President and Mrs. Obama so much that he wanted to "defile" the bed where they had slept—and likewise that Penthouse CEO Kelly Holland is offering $1 million for exclusive rights to video of the event.
The "revelation" about the peeing is part of a dossier allegedly created by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) containing "a collection of memos written over a period of months, includ[ing] specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives, and graphic claims of sexual acts documented by the Russians," according to a report on Buzzfeed.com.
"According to Source D, where s/he had been present, Trump’s (perverted) conduct in Moscow included hiring the Presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he knew President and Mrs Obama (whom he hated) had stayed on one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a [redacted] show in front of him," the dossier says in part.
The charges caught Holland's eye, and since Penthouse has ramped up its political coverage following her acquisition of Penthouse Global Media, Holland decided to put her money where other people's memos have been, and offer a cash reward for the videos the FSB allegedly made of Trump's sexual antics.
"We, along with the rest of the free world, are intrigued by the reports alleging President-Elect Donald Trump employed sex workers to perform a 'golden showers' show in the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton hotel in Moscow," Holland stated in a press release dated today. "However, while many media outlets are content running a story based on conjecture and rumor, we at Penthouse are committed to the value of getting the story right rather than getting it first. So we are offering up to $1-million to secure exclusive rights to the FSB tapes documenting Trump’s Russian hotel hijinks. After all, seeing is believing.
"Penthouse magazine has a rich history of celebrating people’s differences, fetishes and sexual preferences," she added. "We have also made great steps educating the public to know the difference between having wild kinky fun versus engaging in risky or destructive behavior. We are comfortable giving our president-elect the benefit of the doubt, but if this footage exists, we the people deserve to know the truth."
But Holland's offer may only deal with the tip of a very large iceberg.
"Speaking separately in June 2016," the Buzzfeed memo states, "Source B (the former top level Russian intelligence officer) asserted that Trump’s unorthodox behaviour in Russia over the years had provided the authorities there with enough embarrassing material on the now Republican presidential candidate to be able to blackmail him if they so wished."
For his part, Trump has denied all of the allegations in his usual fashion: Via tweets.
"FAKE NEWS-A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT," Trump tweeted Tuesday evening.
"It’s so ridiculous on so many levels," said Trump attorney Michael Cohen. "Clearly, the person who created this did so from their imagination or did so hoping that the liberal media would run with this fake story for whatever rationale they might have."
Referring to the whole sheaf of Russian allegations, and without even mentioning the peeing, Breitbart.com posted its disbelief using the unintentionally humorous headline in its "News Round-Up" email, "YELLOW JOURNALISM—Media Smear Trump With Admittedly Unconfirmed Russia 'Document'."
All of the major news outlets have taken a "we need more proof" attitude toward the dossier, which is understandable—but the mere fact that the scenario is believable ("The Trump name is already so thoroughly soiled that the fact that the allegations are entirely plausible tells us all we need to know about the dignity and gravitas the man brings to the office."—P.Z. Myers) speaks volumes to how the U.S. sees its imminent Commander-In-Chief.
UPDATE: And now, it's animated (beginning at the 1:06 mark).