The FBI refused to pay the creator of the dossier linking President Donald Trump to Russia for unknown reasons, but former NSA analyst John Schindler thinks it’s because the agency “knew it was a dodgy dossier.”
According to a report in The Washington Post, the FBI agreed to pay former MI6 agent Christopher Steele for his continued work on Trump’s supposed ties to Russian entities just a few weeks before the election, but the FBI ended up stiffing Steele on payment.
The communications line was severed between the FBI and Steele after the dossier was written about endlessly in the media, sources told The Washington Post.
But Schindler, a former intelligence analyst at the NSA, said it was much more likely that the FBI didn’t pay because the agency was skeptical of the dossier.
The dossier alleged that the Russians have extremely compromising information relating to Trump’s sexual activities and also that people in Trump’s circle colluded with the Russians on cyberattacks on Democratic Party institutions.
More specifically, the document states that Russia has cultivated Trump for a minimum of five years and also claims that Russia admitted responsibility for the Democratic National Committee email hacks.
Trump has blasted the dossier, referring to the report as “fake news.”
It’s unclear what amount the FBI was going to pay Steele for his work on the dossier, which Steele wanted to continue after his contract with an opposition research firm in Washington, D.C., ended.
But once Steele was identified in the media as the author behind the dossier, the intelligence community took pains to distance itself from him.
Then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement that “The [intelligence community] has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable, and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions.”
The intelligence community has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering an influence campaign directed against key political institutions in the U.S. for the express purpose of pushing the election in favor of Trump.
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