British spy behind explosive Trump-Russia dossier says up to 90% is likely true

The dossier reportedly included damaging information to Mr Trump personally, like alleged sex tapes

Clark Mindock
New York
Wednesday 15 November 2017 23:34 GMT
Mr Steele told friends that the majority of his dossier is accurate
Mr Steele told friends that the majority of his dossier is accurate (PA)

The former British intelligence officer who compiled the infamous dossier that included allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump and the Russian government says that he thinks the dossier is between 70 and 90 per cent accurate, according to a new book on the subject.

In the book, Collusion: How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win, former MI6 agent Chris Steele is quoted telling friends that he thinks the dossier will be vindicated, the Guardian reports. The reports he compiled were based on sources cultivated over a span of three decades working in the intelligence community.

“I’ve been dealing with this country for thirty years. Why would I invent this stuff,” Mr Steel is quoted saying.

That considerable experience is one of the reasons that Mr Steele’s dossier — which included explosive allegations that splashed across headlines around the world — was taken seriously in Washington. Mr Steele has authored hundreds of reports on Russia and Ukraine, and some of those were passed among high level officials in the US government including former Secretary of State John Kerry.

The dossier, built on sources used in those reports, included allegations that the Kremlin had personally damaging information on Mr Trump, like sex tapes recorded when Mr Trump was in Moscow in 2013. Other evidence reportedly suggested that Mr Trump had actively colluded with Russian intelligence to turn the 2016 election in his favour.

“The episode burnished Steele’s reputation inside the US intelligence community and the FBI. Here was a pro, a well-connected Brit, who understood Russian espionage and its subterranean tricks. Steele was regarded as credible,” Luke Harding, the author of the book and also a journalist at the Guardian, wrote.

Mr Steele reportedly told the FBI about the allegations he’d uncovered, but that his FBI contacts eventually went quiet as the 2016 election neared. The book says that he had told a friend that it was clear he had given them a “radioactive hot potato”.

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