Ex-Intel official who created the controversial Trump-Russia dossier speaks out

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In a clip from an upcoming ABC News documentary released on Sunday, Steele said he had decided to sit down for an interview now because of his “record of his role in investigating Russian interference in the 2016 elections wanted to judge “. ABC released part of the documentary on Sunday, including parts of Steele’s interview, with the full documentary due to be released on Hulu early Monday morning.

“Most of the world first heard your name about five years ago, but you have been silent until now. asked host George Stephanopoulos.

“I think the first and most important (reason) is that the problems we identified in 2016 did not go away, they may have gotten worse, and I thought it was important to get the record right” said Steele.

Steele’s unchecked dossier became one of the most controversial aspects of the FBI’s investigation into Trump and Russia that led to the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Many of the allegations, such as the so-called “piss tape,” have never been proven, despite efforts by the FBI to investigate lewd allegations and long-time Congressional investigators investigating allegations relating to the former president and Russia.

Mueller’s report also concluded that another allegation Steele made – that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen traveled to Prague in 2016 to meet with Russian officials – was untrue.

Steele reiterated his belief that most of the information provided in the dossier is accurate.

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

The FBI’s use of Steele’s dossier to obtain a foreign surveillance warrant against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page was the subject of a scathing Justice Department inspector general published in 2019 via Steele’s sources for the dossier, including the fact that its main source told the FBI that they may have been talking “jokingly” about Trump’s alleged sexual activities and that the tape “rumors and speculations” was in the unconfirmed dossier – that Russia had a video of Trump showing prostitutes urinating in a hotel suite watched, according to BuzzFeed News, which published the dossier in full. In January 2017, CNN reported that senior intelligence officials had presented allegations from the Steele dossier to then-President Trump. There is no evidence that the tape exists and Trump has denied the alleged incident.

Steele said he believes Russia is likely to keep “compromise” against Trump, and when pressured by ABC that Russia has a bond from Trump with prostitutes in a Russian hotel, Steele said the bond “probably” existed, but Russia have rated “it” does not have to be released. ”

“And do you still believe today that this bond exists?” asked Stephanopoulos.

“I think it probably does, but I wouldn’t give it 100% certainty,” said Steele.

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

“Well, it didn’t have to be published,” said Steele. “I think the Russians felt that they made Donald Trump quite valuable as President of the United States.”

Steele stood by many of the allegations in his original dossier, including Cohen’s trip to Prague. Cohen swore to deny ever traveling to the Czech Republic during a Congressional hearing in 2019 and has worked with investigators investigating Trump. A 2019 report from the Inspector General of the Justice Department showed that the FBI proved that Cohen had not traveled to Prague in 2016.

Steele argued that, despite working with investigators on other matters, Cohen may still be lying about the trip to Prague, saying the trip to Prague was “highly self-incriminating.”

“Since he was in prison, since he did President Trump, he has told every single story. Why shouldn’t he admit that?” Asked Stephanopoulos.

“I think it’s so distressing and humiliating,” said Steele. “And the other reason is that he might be afraid of the consequences.”

In a statement to CNN, Michael Cohen denied Steele’s claims, saying, “I am eagerly awaiting his next secret dossier, which proves the existence of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster and that Elvis is still alive.”

When asked if he believed the credibility of his dossier had suffered after the Justice Department inspector general failed to prove his claim about Cohen’s trip to Prague, Steele said he was “not yet convinced” that Cohen was not going to Prague had traveled.

“Do you think that it damages your credibility and that you do not accept the FBI’s findings on this particular case?” asked Stephanopoulos.

“I am ready to accept that not everything in the dossier is 100% correct. I have yet to be convinced that this is one of them, ”said Steele.

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