Ex-intel official who created controversial Trump Russia dossier speaks out

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In a clip from an upcoming ABC News documentary released Sunday, Steele said he decided to sit down for an interview now because he wanted to “set the record straight” about his role in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Was. ABC released a portion of the documentary on Sunday featuring parts of Steele’s interview, with the full documentary to be released Monday morning on Hulu.

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“Most of the world heard your name for the first time about five years ago, but you kept quiet until now. Why speak now?” Host George Stephanopoulos asked.

“I think first and foremost[the reason]is that the problems we identified in 2016 haven’t gone away, and have arguably gotten worse, and I thought it was important to set the record straight. is,” Steele said. .

Steele’s unverified dossier became one of the most controversial aspects of the FBI’s investigation into Trump and Russia, which led to the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Many of the claims, such as the so-called “pee tapes”, were never proven, despite the FBI’s attempts to verify the serious allegations and years of congressional investigators probing claims involving the former president and Russia.
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The Mueller report also concluded that another allegation made by Steele – that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen traveled to Prague in 2016 to meet with Russian officials – was untrue.

Steele reaffirms his belief that most of the claims made in the dossier are accurate.

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“I stand by the work we did, the sources we had, and the professionalism we applied,” Steele said.

Steele’s use of a dossier by the FBI to obtain foreign surveillance warrants on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide, was the subject of a scathing Justice Department inspector general report released in 2019. The report found that the FBI’s Russia investigation was properly launched, but it raised serious questions. Regarding Steele’s sources for the dossier, including the fact that his primary source told the FBI he may have spoken “jokingly” about Trump’s alleged sexual activities and that the tapes were “rumor and speculation.”
According to BuzzFeed News, Steele reaffirmed his belief in the most controversial claim in the unverified dossier — Russia had a video of Trump urinating prostitutes in a hotel suite, which published the dossier in full. In January 2017, Granthshala reported top intelligence officials presenting then-President Trump with claims from the Steele dossier. There is no evidence that the tape exists, and Trump has denied the alleged incident occurred.

Steele said he believes Russia maintains a “compromat” against Trump, and when pressed by ABC, if he believes Russia has sex with prostitutes at a Russian hotel. Trump’s tape, Steele said the tape “probably” exists, but Russia assessed “it”. No need to issue.”

“And even today, do you still believe that tape exists?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“I think it probably does, but I wouldn’t be 100% certain on it,” Steele said.

“So how do you explain that if the tape actually exists, it hasn’t been released?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“Well, it doesn’t need to be released,” Steele said. “I think the Russians thought they got great value from Donald Trump when he was president of America.”

Steele supported many of the claims made in his initial document, including Cohen’s visit to Prague. Cohen denied an oath to ever travel to the Czech Republic during congressional hearings in 2019 and cooperated with investigators looking at Trump. A 2019 report from the Justice Department’s Inspector General revealed that the FBI proved that Cohen did not travel to Prague in 2016.

Steele argued that Cohen was still lying about the trip to Prague despite collaborating with investigators on other cases, adding that the visit to Prague would be “very self-criminal to a very great degree”.

“He’s told every single story since he went to prison, since he turned on President Trump. Why wouldn’t he accept it?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“I think it’s very cheesy and disrespectful,” Steele said. “And another reason is that he may be afraid of the consequences.”

In a statement to Granthshala, Michael Cohen denied Steele’s claims, saying, “I look forward to his next secret dossier that proves the existence of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and that Elvis is still alive.” “

Asked whether he believes the credibility of his dossier has been damaged after the Justice Department’s inspector general failed to substantiate his claim about Cohen’s visit to Prague, Steele said he was “so far convinced.” have to be” Cohen had not traveled to Prague.

“Do you think it hurts your credibility and you will not accept the FBI’s findings in this particular case?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“I’m ready to admit that not everything in the dossier is 100% accurate. I have yet to be convinced this is one of them,” Steele said.

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Credit : www.cnn.com

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