Fusion GPS had been hired by Republican opponents of Mr Trump in September 2015. In June 2016 Mr Steele came on the team. He was, and continues to be, highly regarded in the intelligence world. In July, Mr Trump won the Republican nomination and the Democrats became new employers of Mr Steele and Fusion GPS.
In the same month Mr Steele produced a memo, which went to the FBI, stating that Mr Trump’s campaign team had agreed to a Russian request to dilute attention on Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine. Four days later Mr Trump stated that he would recognise Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. A month later officials involved in his campaign asked the Republican party’s election platform to remove a pledge for military assistance to the Ukrainian government against separatist rebels in the east of the country.
This scandal that has come out of the shadows — by way of the findings of the former MI6 agent Christopher Steele as a consultant of highest repute; by way of the associated imprimatur of the highly experienced and respected former British ambassador Sir Andrew Wood — may not be returned to them.
The story appears to be taking off, a BackChannels’ opinion based on so many options for searching up the “Trump Kompromat” story.
The political mobs, among other interests, seldom appreciate hearing how they have been snookered, but they may have to hear as much as more comes to light.
As well acknowledged by the press, American President Elect Trump has moved to dismiss Steele’s report as fiction concocted by his political enemies, first within the Republican Party, and after his nomination, then in the Democratic Party that picked up on the availability of the consulting firm Fusion GPS (URL references Daily Mail, January 13, 2017).
Be that as it may, British MI6 — in fiction and film, James Bond’s outfit — has, as may America’s CIA, the deepest imaginable investment in producing for the state’s highest and most information privileged officials, clear, accurate, and complete intelligence in service to the state’s defense and interests. The highest integrity — and loyalty — may be expected of such agents. It is against that tradition that Trump throws chafe.
Trump and others may have been better off citing Moscow’s KGB history of “Active Measures” and “Disinformation” as a potential cause for Steele’s findings, i.e, Steele had been “played” by Moscow. That would have taken the story into the parallel universe of espionage and just as well — at the some future date — into the theaters.
This day may be too late for merely dumping Steele’s outrageous claims — ah, but Steele has behind him a terrific reputation for integrity — on Moscow’s prowess at playing “Spy vs Spy”.
President Elect Trump may be counted on to play “Trust me” with his developing authority as an American president, but there’s an old guard too of Federal government employees and an American Press — the “Fourth Estate” — known for its extraordinary tenacity when challenged by an especially curious political scandal and mystery.
The response to the information from the FBI, he recalled, was “shock and horror.” After a few weeks, the bureau asked him for information on his sources and their reliability and on how he had obtained his reports. He was also asked to continue to send copies of his subsequent reports to the bureau. These reports were not written, he noted, as finished work products; they were updates on what he was learning from his various sources. But he said, “My track record as a professional is second to no one.”
Goodman, Alana. “Meet the espionage firm which ordered Trump ‘dirty dossier’ – a secretive D.C. firm which has aided Planned Parenthood and attacked Mitt Romney’s friends.” Daily Mail UK, January 13, 2017.
After he left the spy service, Steele supplied the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation with information on corruption at FIFA, international soccer’s governing body.
It was his work on corruption in international soccer that lent credence to his reporting on Trump’s entanglements in Russia, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.
To some, the dossier’s errors and far-out claims stand in stark contrast to Steele’s usual approach to intelligence-gathering. West noted that only one intelligence officer was listed as a direct source.
“Nobody is saying he believes in any of this,” West said. “What he was hired to do was write a series of reports based on info he could glean from his contacts. His contacts are very good but they’re more in the business community than the intel community.”
The talk comes from writer Nigel West, the nom de pen of Rupert Allason, whose Wikipedia entry notes the following:
In 2001 Allason sued Random House, the publishers of The Enigma Spy, the autobiography of the former Soviet agent John Cairncross. Allason claimed he had ghostwritten The Enigma Spy in return for the copyright and 50 per cent of the proceeds. However, Allason lost the case and was ordered to pay costs of around £200,000. In passing judgment the trial judge said that Allason was “a profoundly dishonest man” and “one of the most dishonest witnesses I have ever seen”. In September 2005, Allason was threatened with prison for contempt of court in relation to paying the damages from the 2001 case.
In an alarming Twitter post, the Russian embassy in London suggested Steele was still working for MI6 and ‘briefing both ways’ against Mr Trump and Moscow.
A Russian embassy spokesman said the tweet – which said ‘MI6 officers are never ex’ – ‘reflected the mood in Russia’.
Robinson, Martin. “‘I don’t think he made it up… but he doesn’t always draw the correct judgement’: Ex-UK Moscow ambassador admits he was middle man who tipped off John McCain to Trump ‘dirty dossier’.” Daily Mail, January 12, 2017.
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