First, we have no idea if any of these allegations are true. Yes, they are explosive; they are also entirely unsubstantiated, at least to our knowledge, at this stage. For this reason, even now, we are not going to discuss the specific allegations within the document.

Second, while unproven, the allegations are being taken quite seriously. The President and President-elect do not get briefed on material that the intelligence community does not believe to be at least of some credibility. The individual who generated them is apparently a person whose work intelligence professionals take seriously. And at a personal level, we can attest that we have had a lot of conversations with a lot of different people about the material in this document. While nobody has confirmed any of the allegations, both inside government and in the press, it is clear to us that they are the subject of serious attention.

Third, precisely because it is being taken seriously, it is—despite being unproven and, in public anyway, undiscussed—pervasively affecting the broader discussion of Russian hacking of the election. CNN reported that Senator John McCain personally delivered a copy of the document to FBI Director James Comey on December 9th. Consider McCain’s comments about the gravity of the Russian hacking episode at last week’s Armed Services Committee hearing in light of that fact.