* history teaches us that it's a pretty safe rule of thumb to assume that any male politician will have had an affair or ten, either with paid or unpaid partners, over the course of his career. The reasons are similar as for Hollywood celebrities: they're often away from home; they work in a hot house environment beside people who passionately believe in the same causes, and/or are simply shallow groupies attracted to power; and failing that they can always afford to pay for carnal services. But with Trump - well, has there ever been a businessman/politician more likely in the public mind to have slept with a prostitute (or co-worker) while travelling? I doubt it. And as such, the mere revelation that he has done so would not harm him, unless there was an extraordinary amount of kink involved. It's actually not entirely clear from the dossier what the alleged Trump related kink involved - not that I want to know the details, to be honest!
But where it becomes a problem, of course, is if any time with prostitutes was done in such a way that Russia thinks they can bribe him with that revelation.
And given Trumps' routine denials that everyone knows are demonstrably wrong (even about his own previous statements on tape), it is no surprise that a mere claim that it is "all fake news" is not going to be convincing to anyone other than the stupidest of the the stupid who voted for him.
That said, the specifics of what is said to have happened in the Ritz-Carlton do sound improbable. To my mind, it has more of the ring of a "friend of a friend" story: "yeah, her best friend worked as a cleaner at the hotel at the time, and you know what they found when they cleaned Trump's suite?..."etc
* The more important issue, though, as most analysis is saying, is the matter of Trump team contacts with Russians regarding helpful information for his campaign. And the fact that the FBI took it seriously enough to ask for warrants - assuming that the Guardian is right about that - it's really extraordinary, isn't it? That the FBI is concerned enough to be checking into a President-elect's advisers direct involvement with Russian hacking of an American political party? It really casts a terrible pall over the legitimacy of the entire Trump team.
* The sexual element of the allegations is not big enough to distract the public mind from this more important part. Thus Caroline Overington at The Australian is very silly to be claiming otherwise:
But do you know what really works for Trump? The fact that the sex tape gets a mention in the dossier means that every other piece of information in it – the alleged links between Russia and his campaign, for example – gets swamped.Rubbish.
It is hard to imagine a President-elect coming to an inauguration with less credibility that what is happening now.