The “dossier”, which is composed of a series of memos written by a former agent of the Secret Intelligence Service, Christopher Steele, was released (but not in full) by BuzzFeed News on January 10, 2017. The “dossier” was immediately labelled as “fake news” by President Donald Trump.
What people are unaware of, however, is the sheer range the dossier had during the time it was being developed. And it may also help to place the moments where Steele’s sources spoke with his compatriot, “The Collector”.
As we covered Steele’s entire life in the previous article, this one will be focused entirely on the memos themselves. This is to allow you to have a broader scope and a road map for the next few articles that I write, using the previous Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele articles to help out.
The further we go, the clearer the picture will become. Some of this will seem to repeat points in the Steele article, but will elaborate on it. And for the purposes of this, we will also be discussing Steele’s sources and what they did.
Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson sat down with each other at Heathrow Airport in early June 2016, where Simpson offered Steele an assignment: investigate any connections that may exist between Republican Party candidate Donald Trump and the Kremlin. Steele accepted the assignment.
He did not do anything with regards to researching the connections until a few days after June 9, 2016, where he then started to collate the information.
Steele collected his information by paying his intermediaries, whom then paid their sources, as per Michael Morell.
“And then I asked myself, why did these guys provide this information, what was their motivation? And I subsequently learned that [Steele] paid them. That the intermediaries paid the sources and the intermediaries got the money from Chris.” — Michael Morell
Steele also hired native Russian speakers to contact the informants in Russia.
“As a former spy who had carried out espionage inside Russia, Mr. Steele was in no position to travel to Moscow to study Mr. Trump’s connections there. Instead, he hired native Russian speakers to call informants inside Russia and made surreptitious contact with his own connections in the country as well.” — The New York Times
It should be noted that Steele’s Orbis Business Intelligence had clients in Russia at the time.
“Steele was game. Orbis had ongoing projects in Russia for clients involved in commercial litigation. He figured he could easily hand this new assignment to his contacts in Russia whom he paid to search out information and prepare reports. (Steele himself was known to the Russians and could not operate there.) Simpson and Steele agreed to a 30-day contract — with an option to renew. Steele would be paid about $US30,000 a month.” — Russian Roulette
Steele was also aware that he may have been fed disinformation himself.
“By all accounts, Mr. Steele has an excellent reputation with American and British intelligence colleagues and had done work for the F.B.I. on the investigation of bribery at FIFA, soccer’s global governing body. Colleagues say he was acutely aware of the danger he and his associates were being fed Russian disinformation. Russian intelligence had mounted a complex hacking operation to damage Mrs. Clinton, and a similar operation against Mr. Trump was possible.” — The New York Times
To note, there are the seven sources in the first memo of the “dossier”:
- Source A: Senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure.
- Source B: Former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin.
- Source C: Senior Russian financial official.
- Source D: Close associate of Trump who had organised and managed his recent trips to Moscow. Sergei Millian.
- Source E: [REDACTED]. Sergei Millian.
- Source F: Female staffer at the Ritz-Carlton during Donald Trump’s visit in November 2013.
- Source G: Senior Kremlin official.
As such, after June 9, “The Collector” spoke with Source A and Source B, whom told of a 5-year long plot to cultivate Donald Trump as a source through real estate deals in conjunction with the 2018 FIFA World Cup. At the time, Source C described President Vladimir Putin’s desire to return to the Great Power political game of the 19th century, anchored through nationalism instead of globalism.
Meanwhile, Source D (Sergei Millian) confirmed a years-long intelligence sharing plot to provide Team Trump with everything they need on Hillary Clinton, and the existence of sexual kompromat during Trump’s visit to the Ritz Carlton back in 2013, which featured prostitutes urinating on the bed of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, which was then confirmed by Source E (Sergei Millian).
Source E (Sergei Millian) apparently provided an introduction for a company ethnic Russian operative to Source F. Source B, speaking separately, stated that Trump’s behaviour in Russia allowed for authorities to record embarrassing material on him to blackmail him, while also confirming the existence of kompromat on Hillary Clinton, gathered by Department K of the Federal Security Services since the Presidency of Bill Clinton. Source G stated that Dmitry Peskov was in charge of the Clinton kompromat.
During Millian’s conversations with “The Collector”, he was unaware that his words were being noted down.
“He is the man, the people familiar with the unredacted dossier tell ABC News, who may have unwittingly described Trump’s alleged tryst, during a conversation with someone who was secretly reporting to Christopher Steele.” — ABC News
At some point in June also, a “number of Russian figures with a detailed knowledge of national cyber crime, both state-sponsored and otherwise”, explained how Russian intelligence agencies, including the Federal Security Service, lead offensive cyber operations on other countries. This included a conversation with a Russian IT specialist with direct knowledge.
The first memo, titled “Company Intelligence Report 2016/080: US Presidential Election: Republican Candidate Donald Trump’s Activities In Russia and Compromising Relationship with the Kremlin”, was compiled and typed by Steele on June 20, 2016.
Four days later, the day of the European Union referendum, Simpson contacted Steele and requested for him to send the first memo over to him, which he did through the usage of a courier. The courier took a redacted version of the memo, an enciphered e-mail, from London to Washington, DC via plane.
Steele also reached out to Special Agent Michael Gaeta, requesting for him to visit his office in London, England in July, which was signed off by Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland at the United States Department of State.
Fusion GPS also started to pay three unnamed journalists funds for an unknown reason.
In July 2016, Millian was interviewed by Brian Ross at ABC News, where he claimed he was connected to both Donald Trump and the Kremlin. In the same month, Rick Wilson received a telephone call from a reporter at a major news network, where they asked whether he had heard about the Steele memos.
On July 5, 2016, Steele met with Special Agent Michael Gaeta at his office in London, England, where he showed his first memo to Special Agent Gaeta. After the meeting, the agent received the memo from Steele, then forwarded it to an Organised Crime Unit at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New York Field Office — having accidentally set it to this team instead of the counterintelligence department, where it remained.
After July 7, 2016, Steele — or one of his intermediaries — spoke with a Russian source close to Igor Sechin, whom claimed the existence of a secret meeting between Sechin and Carter Page, which included discussions about energy cooperation and the removal of sanctions. Another official close to Sergei Ivanov apparently confided in a compatriot that Page also spoke with Igor Diveykin from the Internal Political Department, and that it included discussions of a Clinton dossier and Trump kompromat.
In the middle of July, Steele reached out to Bruce Ohr and Jonathan Winer to meet with them. At the same time, between 2–4 pages of short points on information researched by Steele was provided to the United States Department of State, which was viewed by Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland.
A few days later, on July 22, Millian reached out to George Papadopoulos without warning, and requested to meet with him. At their eventual meeting, Millian offered Papadopoulos a $30,000.00 per month contract on behalf of a Russian energy company.
In late July, “The Collector” spoke with Millian, whom apparently discussed a conspiracy of co-operation between the Trump campaign and Russian leadership and that the Russian Government were behind the leaked e-mails of the Democratic National Committee. Millian also suggested there were Russian diplomatic staff members in New York, Washington, DC and Miami, FL that used an émigré pension distribution system as cover for their scheming.
“An MI6 official, whose job does not permit him to be quoted by name, said that in late summer or early fall, Mr. Steele also passed the reports he had prepared on Trump and Russia to British intelligence.” — The New York Times
“By late July and early August, MI6 was also receiving information about Mr Trump. By September, informed to the FBI began to grow in volume: Mr Steele compiled a set of his memos into one document and passed it to his contacts at the FBI.” — The Independent
Four days later, on July 26, Steele filed another memo, “Company Intelligence Report 2016/086: Russia/Cyber Crime: A Synopsis of Russian State Sponsored and Other Cyber Offensive (Criminal) Operations”, where he pinned the Kremlin for the hack of the Democratic National Committee e-mails.
Three more days later, on July 29, Steele filed the memo, “Company Intelligence Report 2016/94: Russia: Secret Kremlin Meetings Attended By Trump Advisor, Carter Page In Moscow”.
The next day, Steele, Bruce Ohr and Nellie Ohr had breakfast at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, where Steele confirmed that Fusion GPS’s Glenn Simpson would be open to discussing the memos further. Steele also filed his next memo, “Company Intelligence Report 2016/097: Russia/US Presidential Election: Kremlin Concern That Political Fallout From DNC E-Mail Hacking Affair Spiralling Out of Control”. Meanwhile, Bruce contacted Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
By the end of July, Steele found that gathering information was becoming difficult, as his sources stopped speaking with him.
“It got harder from late July, as Trump’s ties to Russia came under scrutiny. Finally, the lights went out. Amid a Kremlin cover-up, the sources went silent and information channels shut down.”
In August 2016, Mikhail Kalugin was sent back home to Russia after a 6-year posting, where he took up a position in the Russian Foreign Ministry. Kalugin was then replaced by Andrey Bondarev as the Head of the Russian Embassy’s Economic Division.
In the same month, Steele met with Sir Andrew Wood to discuss the contents of the memos, where he described it as “raw intelligence” and informed Sir Wood that he was in touch with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In early August, two Kremlin sources discussed with Steele / an intermediary of Steele that there was backlash in Moscow from the leaking of the Democratic National Committee e-mails and the Trump operation they were supposedly running. At the same time, a “close colleague” discussed Sergei Ivanov’s assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election, while apparently a Kremlin official discussed how the Trump operation worked.
On August 3, 2016, Bruce met with Deputy Director McCabe and Lisa Page to discuss the potential collusion between Trump and Russia.
On August 5, 2016, Steele filed another memo, “Company Intelligence Report 2016/100: Russia/USA: Growing Backlash In Kremlin to DNC Hacking and Trump Support Operations”.
On August 9, 2016, an “ethnic Russian associate of Republican US presidential candidate Donald TRUMP” (presumably Sergei Millian) discussed the Kremlin changing tactics on the Trump operation.
The next day, on August 10, Steele filed two more memos:
- “Company Intelligence Report 2016/101: Russia/US Presidential Election: Senior Kremlin Figure Outlines Evolving Russian Tactics In Pro-Trump, Anti-Clinton Operation”
- “Company Intelligence Report 2016/102: Russia/US Presidential Election: Reaction In Trump Camp to Recent Negative Publicity About Russian Interference and Likely Resulting Tactics Going Forward”
Another five days later, on August 15, Bruce Ohr contacted Peter Strzok directly.
At some stage, Bruce also briefed employees at the United States Department of Justice, including Andrew Weissmann, Bruce Swartz and Zainab Ahmad.
A few days later, on August 19, Paul Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign.
In the aftermath of the resignation, apparently a “well-placed Russian figure” reported on the existence of a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovych, which allegedly happened on August 15. An American political figure associated with the Trump campaign also discussed with Steele / an intermediary of Steele about Manafort’s resignation and its Ukrainian ties.
On August 22, Steele filed another memo, “Company Intelligence Report 2016/105: Russia/Ukraine: The Demise of Trump’s Campaign Manager Paul Manafort”, which was a response to the dismissal of Paul Manafort three days earlier.
As the month drew to a close, the agents of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation team — including Peter Strzok — were informed by Special Agent Michael Gaeta of the existence of the Steele memos. The investigators then briefed Director James Comey and his deputies on their existence.
Before I continue, I will also state this and this will become important at a later time: it is also possible that Senator Harry Reid gained access to the Steele dossier at some point. There is also a reason I have written this paragraph in between the months of August and September.
“We knew that key members of the Senate — Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat, and John McCain, the Arizona Republican — had acted on its contents.” — Ben Smith, The New York Times
“The dossier has apparently been circulating among journalists and top lawmakers since early last year. Sen. John McCain of Arizona obtained a copy that he handed over to the FBI before the election. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada obtained an early copy of the dossier as well.” — Business Insider
In September 2016, Steele’s compatriot (“The Collector”) discussed with “two well-placed sources based in St. Petersburg, one in the political / business elite and the other involved in the local services and tourist industry” about Trump’s visits to St. Petersburg, accusing him of bribing local officials through an assortment of companies and that he had participated in sex parties. The two sources also said Aras Agalarov was connected to Trump and would know the most about the events.
On September 9, 2016, presidential candidate Evan McMullin was interviewed by Kate Bolduan of CNN, where he mentioned that Donald Trump was being blackmailed by Russians, while also mentioning potential ties between Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and the Russian Government, and then separately Paul Manafort and the Russian Government.
KATE BOLDUAN: “You’ve also said that Trump’s being manipulated by President Putin. Where do you see that? Where’s the evidence?”
EVAN MCMULLIN: “Well, Kate, the evidence is clear in- in just the way Donald Trump speaks about Putin. Donald Trump has never said a negative thing about Putin as far as I can tell. Donald Trump is dependent on Russian investment from Russian oligarchs associated with Vladimir Putin for his, uh, his real estate, uh, development projects. He’s appointed — Donald Trump — key members of his staff who have other financial ties to Russia. I mean, this is absolutely out of control. You know, I hear from some of my old intelligence, uh, friends that Donald Trump has been engaged in some activities in Russia that Vladimir Putin may be using to blackmail Trump. So there’s a lot going on there that- that I don’t think has come to light fully, but the- that proof is in the pudding, as they say, and you can see it in Donald Trump’s eyes.”
At some point in mid-September 2016, “a senior member of the Russian Presidential Administration” discussed the fallout from the western media discussing the Russian interference operation “in favour of Donald TRUMP and against Hillary CLINTON” with Steele’s compatriot. The same compatriot then spoke with “a senior Russian MFA official” about Mikhail Kalugin’s departure from Washington, DC.
Around this time as well, Steele’s compatriot discussed with “a top level Russian government official” whom discussed the relations between President Putin and Alfa Bank’s leaders, Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan.
A few days later, on September 14, Steele filed three more memos:
- “Company Intelligence Report 2016/111: Russia/US: Kremlin Fallout From Media Exposure of Moscow’s Interference In the US Presidential Campaign”
- “Company Intelligence Report 2016/112: Russia/US Presidential Election: Kremlin-Alpha Group Co-Operation”
- “Company Intelligence Report 2016/113: Russia/US Presidential Election- Republican Candidate Trump’s Prior Activities In St Petersburg”
Two days after this, Steele sent an e-mail to Bruce and informed him that he would be in Washington, DC on “business of mutual interest”, although Bruce would be out of town from September 19–21. This was because Bruce was in New Mexico.
In mid-September, the Crossfire Hurricane team started to receive the Steele memos from Special Agent Gaeta.
Shortly after, Winer met with Sidney Blumenthal, where they discussed the Steele memos. Blumenthal provided him a copy of the notes prepared by Cody Shearer.
Between September 21–23, 2016, Steele met with Jonathan Winer in Washington, DC, where he briefed Winer on the prepared memos. During this meeting, Winer provided Steele with the memo written by Shearer.
After the meeting, Winer created a 2-page summary of the Steele memos, which he proceeded to share with a number of senior employees at the United States Department of State, including Assistant Secretary Nuland and with Jon Finer. Finer then proceeded to brief Secretary John Kerry on the memos using the 2-page summary, although when Secretary Kerry asked whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation already had the information and it was confirmed they had, the subject was dropped.
Steele met with Michael Isikoff of Yahoo! News, which led to the publication of the article “U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin” on September 23. September 23rd also saw the release of “Who Is Carter Page?” by Julia Ioffe for Politico, somebody else whom was brought the story of the dossier.
Steele met with Jane Mayer of The New Yorker at the Tabard Inn in Washington, DC. Steele also met with numerous other national security reporters in a series of meetings at this location, having been set up by Fusion GPS. During his meeting with Mayer, Steele did not provide his memos or reveal his sources.
Steele and Glenn Simpson also visited the headquarters of The Washington Post, where they met with numerous journalists for an off-the-record meeting. During the meeting, Steele spoke for 2-hours about his memos and research.
Because of Steele’s visit to The New York Times, many journalists at the organisation used it — alongside sources from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency and from United States Congress — to investigate multiple leads into collusion between Donald Trump and Russia. These efforts were led by Eric Lichtblau and Steven Lee Myers.
Around this time, the Federal Bureau of Information contacted Steele to request further information from him as soon as possible, which presumably led to them arranging the Rome meeting for the start of next month.
On October 1, Steele travelled to Rome, Italy to meet with four agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation — including some that travelled from America, including Special Agent Michael Gaeta — where he discussed the contents of the memos and provided the names of some of his informants. During this meeting, Steele also provided the agents with the Shearer memo. The agents also offered to pay $50,000.00 for Steele’s efforts to corroborate his memos. During this meeting, Steele warned them that if Trump won the election, he would provide a full review of his memos to a senior British security official.
On October 3, Steele returned to London, England.
In early October, “a senior Russian leadership figure and a Foreign Ministry official” discussed separately with Steele’s compatriot about the Russian interference operation and the ensuing buyer’s remorse.
On October 12, Steele filed another memo, titled “Company Intelligence Report 2016/130: Russia: Kremlin Assessment of Trump and Russian Interference In US Presidential Election”.
In mid-October, Steele visited the United States Department of State, where he briefed a number of employees on his memos, a meeting which Assistant Secretary Nuland avoided.
Steele then visited the Federal Bureau of Investigation directly, where he was debriefed for a week and provided some names of his informants.
After his visit to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Steele met with BBC News’ Paul Wood, where he allowed Wood to view the memos. Steele also met with journalists from The New York Times, The Washington Post and Yahoo! News.
On October 17, “a close associate of Rosneft President and Putin ally Igor Sechin” discussed with Steele’s compatriot about the alleged meeting between Sechin and Carter Page in July 2016. According to the close associate, Sechin had decided that Trump could no longer win the presidency. A “Kremlin insider with direct access to leadership” then spoke separately with Steele’s compatriot about Cohen, which was then emphasised through an alleged secret liaison relationship between Cohen, the Trump campaign and Russian leadership.
On October 18, Steele filed another memo, titled “Company Intelligence Report 2016/134: Russia/US Presidential Election: Further Details of Kremlin Liaison with Trump Campaign”.
One day later, on October 19, Steele filed another memo, titled “Company Intelligence Report 2016/135: Russia/US Presidential Election: The Important Role of Trump Lawyer, Cohen In Campaign’s Secret Liaison with the Kremlin”.
On the same day, a “Kremlin insider” discussed with “a compatriot and friend” about alleged meetings between Cohen and Kremlin representatives in August 2016, where the insider cemented the idea of the meeting taking place in Prague, Czech Republic, and named Konstantin Kosachev as the connecting figure between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
And then, on October 20, Steele compiled his initial version of the dossier, with his final report “Company Intelligence Report 2016/136: Russia/US Presidential Election: Further Details of Trump Lawyer Cohen’s Secret Liaison with the Kremlin”.
The next day, on October 21, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court approved a secret surveillance order, granting permission to the United States Department of Justice to conduct electronic surveillance on Carter Page. It used the Steele dossier as backing.
As October was coming to a close, Simpson gave Steele permission to reach out to Corn at Mother Jones, while Fusion GPS provided Marc Elias with Steele’s memos, as Perkins Coie, the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign ended their funding of the “dossier”.
On October 28, Steele spoke with Corn over Skype about the memos and his relationship with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Three days later, on October 31, Corn published the article “A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump” in Mother Jones.
At the start of November, in the days leading up to Election Day, the Steele dossier was passed around the top national security echelons of the Obama Administration.
Between November 1–6, 2016, Simpson had lunch with Wood at the BBC News’s Washington radio station, where Simpson provided Wood with a redacted version of the dossier. Wood followed this up by contacting the Central Intelligence Agency to corroborate the allegations, where he was initially rebuffed, only for an unofficial intermediary to tell him
At the same time, David Corn and Julian Borger met with each other to discuss the Steele dossier.
On Election Day, Millian attended the Horasis China Meeting hosted by Horasis in Interlaken, Switzerland.
After the election of Donald Trump to become the next President of the United States, Corn visited the Federal Bureau of Investigation and passed his version of the Steele memos to James A. Baker, whom then passed it over to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation team.
Between November 18–20, 2016, the Halifax International Security Forum was hosted, which was attended by people such as Sir Wood, Senator John McCain, Rinat Akhmetshin and Representative Adam Kinzinger. Sir Wood and Senator McCain discussed the Steele dossier. Senator McCain decided to send an associate from the McCain Institute, David Kramer, to meet with Steele in England. Kramer is also on the board of directors for the Halifax International Security Forum.
Around November 24, 2016, Bruce and Simpson met with each other to discuss the Steele dossier, the investigation into Trump and Russia, and the rise of President-elect Trump.
In late November, Steele created another memo which detailed the possibility — heard from a senior Russian official — that Mitt Romney was prevented from becoming the Secretary of State by President-elect Trump due to intervention from the Kremlin.
Between November 28–30, 2016, Kramer arrived at Heathrow Airport to meet with Steele, where they then rendezvoused at Steele’s home in Surrey, England. Steele ultimately passed Report 166 to Kramer.
Steele would also pass Report 166 over to, at various times, an unnamed senior British security official, Celeste Wallander, Representative Kinzinger and Jonathan Burks, the Chief of Staff to Speaker Paul Ryan.
The senior British security official reviewed the information with Steele directly.
“He soon shared his research with a senior British official. The official carefully went through the details with Steele, but it isn’t clear whether the British government acted on his information.” — The New Yorker
Also for reference, Jonathan Burks became the Chief of Staff to Speaker Ryan roughly around December 15, 2016.
On November 30, Kramer returned from England and met with Senator McCain and his Chief of Staff, Christopher Brose, where they reviewed the Steele dossier, where Kramer pushed for the dossier to be passed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency.
In December 2016, Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson were informed of the existence of the Steele dossier.
Some time after this, Director Alex Younger delivered a speech at the headquarters for the Secret Intelligence Service in London, England. The briefing notes for the speech contained information from the Steele dossier.
In the same month, The Guardian’s Luke Harding met with Steele, where he was given an opportunity to view the dossier, but found himself unable to verify it.
Also, Director John Brennan received his own copy of the Steele dossier, which he compared to his own sources for alleged collusion between Trump and Russia.
On either December 8 or 9, 2016, Senator McCain met with Director James Comey at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and provided him with his copy of the Steele memos.
On the latter day, December 9, President Obama ordered a review to be carried out by the United States intelligence agencies of Russian interference in American elections, going back to 2008.
On December 13, 2016, Steele filed his actual final memo, titled “Company Intelligence Report 2016/166: US/Russia: Further Details of Secret Dialogue Between Trump Campaign, Kremlin and Associated Hackers In Prague”.
Report 166 discussed Cohen’s meeting with Kremlin interlocutors working under the cover of the non-government organisation Rossotrudnichestvo, with suggestions that the meeting took place in late August 2016 / early September 2016.
“But didn’t you just say that Steele handed over Report 166 to Kramer in November-”
DON’T ASK QUESTIONS. WE’RE MOVING ON.
Kramer, having received Report 166, proceeded to pass the information out to various journalists.
On December 29, 2016, Kramer met with BuzzFeed News’s Ken Bensinger, where he provided him with the near-completed Steele dossier.
For reference, the day after this, Kramer published the article “Now, really crank up heat on Russia” in Politico.
The next year, in January 2017, American and Israeli intelligence officials met in private, where the American intelligence officials expressed concern over the victory of Donald Trump in the election and warned the Israelis that the National Security Agency had evidence that Russia had hacked the Democratic Party’s servers — while also suggesting that Russia was blackmailing President-elect Trump.
On January 5, 2017, President Obama was briefed on the intelligence review about Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election, which was presented to him by Director James Clapper, Director Brennan, Director James Comey and Admiral Michael Rogers.
Director Comey presented the 2-page synopsis of the Steele dossier and explained that the information was spreading across intelligence agencies, United States Congress and government officials around Washington, DC. Director Comey also stated that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was investigating the Steele dossier to ensure its validity. President Obama questioned whom would inform President-elect Trump about the Steele dossier, and Director Comey said he would.
Shortly after the Oval Office meeting, Director Jeh Johnson contacted Director Comey via telephone to discuss his future briefing with President-elect Trump and the Steele dossier.
Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden read the 35-page report on Russian interference, while President Obama wondered why the Steele synopsis was included with the report.
The next day, at Trump Tower in New York, NY, Director Clapper, Director Brennan, Director Comey and Admiral Rogers briefed President-elect Trump on the Russian cyber attacks. Others in attendance included Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer and the national security team.
After the briefing, Director Comey was left alone with President-elect Trump, where Director Comey briefed him on the 2-page synopsis of the Steele dossier. During this same conversation, President-elect Trump informed Director Comey that he wanted him to stay on as the director.
Around this time, possibly on January 6 itself as he was interviewed on CNN that day, Director Clapper informed Jake Tapper and a few other journalists about the existence of the Steele dossier and the briefing in general.
When initially asked about leaks related to the ICA in July 2017, former DNI Clapper flatly denied ‘discuss[ing] the dossier [compiled by Steele] or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists.’ Clapper subsequently acknowledged discussing the ‘dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper,’ and admitted that he might have spoken with other journalists about the same topic. Clapper’s discussion with Tapper took place in early January 2017, around the time IC leaders briefed President Obama and President-elect Trump, on ‘the Christopher Steele information,’ a two-page summary of which was ‘enclosed in’ the highly-classified version of the ICA.
The next day, two Israeli intelligence officers visited the headquarters of BuzzFeed News in San Francisco, CA, where they showed the journalists a copy of the Steele dossier in order to prove that intelligence agencies around the world were investigating President-elect Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
On January 10, 2017, Jake Tapper, Evan Perez, Jim Sciutto and Carl Bernstein published the article “Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him” in CNN.
Shortly after, Ken Bensinger, Miriam Elder and Mark Schoofs published the article “These Reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia” in BuzzFeed News, which was the release of the Steele dossier to the public.
The article was immediately met with two responses: President-elect Trump tweeted “FAKE NEWS — A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!” and Michael Cohen tweeted “I have never been to Prague in my life. #fakenews”.
At the same time, Special Agent Strzok compared the BuzzFeed dossier to the versions received from Corn, Simpson and Senator McCain, where he stated that it was only identical to the one Senator McCain provided. Special Agent Strzok then texted Lisa Page and said he and other agents were discussing whether to use the dossier as a pretext to interview people.
The next day, Director James Clapper contacted President-elect Trump, where they discussed the leaking of the Steele dossier, where he defended the intelligence agencies and said they did not leak it to BuzzFeed News. At the same time, according to the Comey Memos, President-elect Trump then contacted Director Comey via telephone to deny the prostitute-related allegations and to recount the events of Miss Universe 2013.
Meanwhile, Dmitry Peskov, the spokesperson for President Vladimir Putin, denied that Russia had any compromising information on President-elect Trump.
Soon, The Wall Street Journal revealed Steele’s ties to the dossier, with the article “Christopher Steele, Ex-British Intelligence Officer, Said to Have Prepared Dossier on Trump”.
On CNN, Tapper discussed the internal efforts of the Mainstream Media Complex attempting to connect Cohen with Prague, where they concluded it was a different Cohen entirely, which was followed with a government source confirming this was the case.
JAKE TAPPER: “Let me just make one other point, because Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer, er, has been out there because in this uncorroborated report, it talks about Michael Cohen, Trump’s official corporate lawyer, making a trip to the Czech Republic. My reporting suggests that, er, people did try to run that down, and that they concluded that it was a different Michael Cohen. It was a Michael Cohen with a passport from another country, the same birth year, different birth date. So for Michael Cohen to dispute that he was in the Czech Republic completely confirms and conforms with our reporting, and it’s one of the reasons why did not get specific with these allegations, and that’s why I hope at the press conference today people are more general and don’t get into the specifics because a lot of that stuff has not been proven.”
The next day, on January 12, the United States Senate received their own intelligence briefing on the 2-page synopsis of the Steele dossier. On the same day, Millian donated $393.70 and $155.78 to Donald J. Trump For President, Inc.
Two days later, on January 13, Sheera Frenkel published the article “Spy Agencies Around The World Are Digging Into Trump’s Moscow Ties” in BuzzFeed News.
At the same time, Special Agent Strzok started to contact the identified sources related to the Steele dossier.
A number of days later, on January 24, 2017, Mark Maremont published the article “Key Claims in Trump Dossier Said to Come From Head of Russian-American Business Group” in The Wall Street Journal, which identified Sergei Millian as both Source D and Soruce E for the Steele dossier. This was quickly followed with “Alleged Source of Claims in Trump Dossier Joined Trump That Drew FBI Scrutiny”.
Between January 24–27, 2017, the Federal Bureau of Investigation submitted a renewal application for Carter Page’s October 2016 FISA to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which was then signed by Acting Attorney General Sally Yates.
The next month, in February, Fusion GPS ceased their payments for three journalists.
On February 10, 2017, Jim Sciutto and Evan Perez — with contributions from Pamela Brown and Marshall Cohen — published the article “US investigators corroborate some aspects of the Russian dossier” in CNN. This was followed by Jason Leopold publishing the article “US Intelligence Has Confirmed Parts Of The Dossier About Trump’s Alleged Ties To Russia” in BuzzFeed News.
An intelligence source told BuzzFeed News that CNN’s reporting was accurate, saying the details that have been confirmed ‘are not the salacious allegations’ of a sexual encounter in a Moscow hotel ‘but more about Trump’s relationship with Russia’. He declined to provide more details about the nature of that relationship, calling it ‘closely held’. Additionally, the source said, some of the other confirmed details amount to things ‘no one will care about,’ such as gossip among Russians who dislike Hillary Clinton.
A second US intelligence official working with federal law enforcement told BuzzFeed News, ‘Over the past two weeks we’ve determined some portions [of the dossier] are credible. The source said the determination was made after ‘multiple analysts’ reviewed intercepted communications between Russian officials. He would not disclose the sections of the document that have been confirmed but said it was a small portion and was not the sensational details.
Between February 11–12, 2017, Moby had dinner in Washington, DC with former and current agents of the Central Intelligence Agency, where they attested that the Steele dossier was correct and pushed for him to verify it due to his large social media presence. The next day, on February 13, Moby posted on Instagram that President Trump was compromised by Russia and explained his dinner meeting.
That’s the end of the article, you don’t get any more.