A former-British spy has been named as the man who compiled the dossier containing explosive, if unverified, allegations against Donald Trump.
Ex-MI6 officer Christopher Steele, 52, who is now a director of the London based Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, is believed to have prepared the documents for Mr Trump’s Democratic and Republican opponents during the US presidential primary election, according to the Wall Street Journal.
US intelligence officials later added a highly classified two-page synopsis of the allegations to the report on apparent Russian hacking during the election. The synopsis was delivered to President Barack Obama and Mr Trump.
The synopsis alleges that the Trump campaign had engaged in a continuous exchange of information between surrogates and Russian intermediaries throughout the election. It also alleges that Russian leaders had been in contact with Mr Trump and his associates for as many as five years.
The 35-page document also claims Russian agents had information about allegations of salacious sexual behaviour in a hotel room – but the details have not been verified.
Mr Trump has branded the claims “fake news”.
Mr Steele was unavailable for comment when the Wall Street Journal tried to reach him, although he later contacted the newspaper through an intermediary who told them that Mr Steele would not speak on the subject because it was “too hot”.
Mr Steele co-founded Orbis in 2009. The agency specialises in Russian and Asian cases.
The co-director of Orbis, Christopher Burrows, 58, said he would not “confirm or deny” that their company produced the report. Mr Orbis previously served in Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office between 1990 and 1999 as Counselor and First Secretary.
The Kremlin dismissed the report as “fake” and a “total bluff” and further denied they had “compromising information” on Mr Trump of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton – whom US intelligence officials was a primary target of President Vladimir Putin’s “multi-faceted” hacking campaign.
Mr Trump launched rebutted the report in a lengthy rant on Twitter, equating the leak of highly classified information to the political press to “Nazi Germany”.
“Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news ‘leak’ into the public,” he tweeted. “One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?"