The author of the anti-Trump dossier believes that the salacious document is highly accurate, according to a book set to be published on Thursday.
Christopher Steele, a former MI6 officer who authored the dossier, has told friends and associates that he believes that the dossier is between 70 and 90 percent accurate, according to Guardian reporter Luke Harding.
Harding’s forthcoming book, “Collusion: How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win,” quotes Steele as expressing confidence in his work to acquaintances.
“I’ve been dealing with this country for thirty years. Why would I invent this stuff?” Steele is quoted as saying of his work in Russia.
It is not clear from the preview of Harding’s book which parts of the dossier Steele believes to be true and which are false. His 17 memos contain a variety of allegations, some of them specifically regarding Trump and members of his campaign; others discussing Russia’s attempts to interfere in the presidential campaign.
Trump has called the dossier a “hoax,” and Congressional Republicans have questioned the veracity of Steele’s allegations, largely because his report was funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC.
Harding’s book details Steele’s career as an MI6 officer, beginning with his work in Moscow. Steele was stationed in the then-Soviet capital beginning in 1990. (RELATED: Ex-Spy Who Wrote Trump Dossier Admits Parts Of It Are Unverified)
Between 2014 and 2016, Steele compiled hundreds of reports about Russia and Ukraine as part of his work as a private investigator. Steele operates the London-based firm Orbis Business Intelligence. The company was hired last year by Fusion GPS, a Washington, D.C.-based opposition research firm. Fusion had been paid $1 million by the Clinton campaign and DNC to investigate Donald Trump’s activities in Russia.
BuzzFeed published the dossier on Jan. 10.
Steele was hired onto the Trump project in June 2016. His memos alleged that the Russian government has blackmail material on Trump and that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Kremlin officials to influence the election. The reports cite anonymous sources, some of whom are alleged to have links to the Trump campaign or to the Kremlin.
According to Harding, Steele relied on some sources that he had used for his reports on Russia and Ukraine. Those reports were provided to Steele’s clients as well as to top State Department officials, including former Sec. of State John Kerry and Victoria Nuland, the former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.
Steele’s first dossier memo is dated June 20, 2016. His second memo is dated July 19, 2016. In the interim, Steele briefed FBI agents in Rome in June about his discoveries, Harding reports.
Steele told friends that the FBI agents responded with “shock and horror” and then asked him to provide any future reports he might compile.
“For anyone who reads it, this is a life-changing experience,” Steele has said to friends, according to Harding.
Steele has acknowledged that he did not verify some parts of the dossier. In a court filing in London, where he is being sued, Steele said that his final dossier memo, dated Dec. 13, needed to be verified. The memo accuses a Russian businessman named Aleksej Gubarev of using two of his tech companies to hack into the Democratic National Committee’s email systems. Gubarev is suing Steele and BuzzFeed.