Politics

Despite Red Flags, Christopher Steele Apparently Believes Dossier Will Be Vindicated, That Trump Tape Might Exist

(TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
Font Size:
  • Former MI6 officer Christopher Steele believes that his anti-Trump dossier will one day be vindicated, even though U.S. investigators have debunked key claims in it. 
  • According to a published Wednesday, Steele has told associates that the dossier is a “damn good” intelligence report. 
  • Steele’s intelligence firm seemingly endorsed the report by tweeting that the story was “a useful corrective” to recent revelations about the dossier. 
  • Steele, who investigated President Donald Trump on behalf of Democrats in 2016, still reportedly believes that Russia has a blackmail tape of Trump with prostitutes in Moscow.

Former British spy Christopher Steele reportedly believes that his infamous dossier will still be vindicated, even though U.S. investigators have debunked key allegations in the salacious document.

Journalist Paul Wood provided new insight into Steele’s views of the dossier in the wake of revelations about the information that his primary source, Igor Danchenko, provided the FBI.

Steele’s firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, seemingly endorsed Wood’s story, calling it “a useful corrective” on Twitter.

According to Wood, Steele believes that the Russian government has some sort of sexual blackmail material on Trump. Steele alleged in the dossier that Russian intelligence had a video of Trump with prostitutes urinating on each other in a Moscow hotel room in 2013.

Trump has vehemently denied the allegation, as have associates who traveled to Moscow with Trump on the trip in question. A Justice Department inspector general’s report also said the FBI received evidence that the allegation of a so-called “pee tape” may have been the product of Russian disinformation.

But Steele remains confident that the Kremlin has sexual blackmail material on Trump.

“But he is apparently convinced that the Russians have sexual kompromat of some kind on Trump, enough to blackmail him,” writes Wood.

“He tells his friends and supporters that the dossier was a ‘damn good’ piece of intelligence work that will be vindicated.”

Wood’s report provides the first insight into what Steele thinks about his dossier in the wake of revelations about Danchenko’s statements to the FBI.

The Justice Department inspector general’s report said that Danchenko raised significant questions about the credibility of the dossier, which the FBI cited extensively to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Carter Page. (RELATED: Steele Source Had Meeting In Russia At Key Point In Dossier Saga)

The dossier also fueled media-driven conspiracy theories that the Kremlin was blackmailing Donald Trump with a sex tape, and that members of the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government.

According to an FBI memo from January 2017, Danchenko told investigators that he provided Steele with rumors and speculation that he picked up over drinks with friends he had in Russia.

He said that he was unable to verify the allegations that Steele put in the dossier. He also disputed some of Steele’s characterizations of the information he shared with the ex-spy.

Danchenko’s interview also suggested that he and his network of sub-sources were far removed from the top echelons of the Kremlin. According to Danchenko, some of his sources had connections to government officials, but none had direct access to any of the information laid out in the dossier.

Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, whose firm hired Steele to investigate Trump in 2016. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

The most glaring inconsistency between Danchenko and Steele’s accounts involves Sergei Millian, a Belarusian-American businessman who was initially fingered in the media as a key but unwitting source for the dossier.

News reports that popped up shortly after the dossier was published on Jan. 10, 2017, said that Millian was the source for the “pee tape” allegation. But Danchenko told the FBI that he is not sure if he actually ever spoke to Millian.

Danchenko said he received a phone call in late July 2016 from someone he believed to be Millian. The phone call would have occurred more than a month after Steele’s memo containing the sex tape allegation.

But according to journalist Paul Wood, Steele claims that Danchenko told him that he met three times with Millian.

“But I’m told that in 2016 Danchenko gave Steele accounts of three meetings with Millian, as they happened, at restaurants in Washington DC, New York and Charleston,” Wood wrote.

Wood suggests that Danchenko, a Russian national, gave misleading information to the FBI out of fear of being arrested and deported.

“You can certainly imagine Danchenko’s state of mind, a Russian in the United States, terrified of being arrested and deported, trying to downplay his role in finding dirt on America’s new president,” writes Wood.

A source close to Danchenko told the Daily Caller News Foundation last week that he stands by the accuracy of the information he passed to Steele.

Danchenko told the FBI that Steele hired him several years ago to collect information regarding Russia and Ukraine. Danchenko had worked through 2010 for the Brookings Institution.

Wood maintains that Steele has found new evidence of a Trump sex romp at the Moscow Ritz Carlton.

“Since then, I’m told that Steele has had ‘new reporting’ about another Trump sexual encounter in the Ritz Carlton: just one woman this time, it’s claimed, allegedly there the evening after the supposed bevy of urinating hookers,” Wood writes.

Left unmentioned in the essay is that key allegations in the dossier have already been debunked, and that Steele has released no evidence publicly to support his theories of conspiracy.

Perhaps the most prominent Steele claim that has been debunked is the one alleging that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen visited Prague in August 2016 to meet with Kremlin officials to discuss payments to hackers. The alleged trip is the dossier’s most specific allegation of collusion between Team Trump and Team Putin.

The IG report says that Cohen never visited Prague, and that the FBI received evidence on Jan. 12, 2017 (two days after the dossier was published) that the Cohen allegation may have been planted by Russian intelligence officers.

According to Danchenko, his source for the Cohen allegation was a woman he knew from middle school. Danchenko described her as a “key” source for the dossier, who also provided allegations about Carter Page, the Trump aide, and Aleksej Gubarev, the owner of a Russian web hosting firm.

Steele has also been ordered to pay legal damages in the U.K. over inaccuracies in the dossier regarding the owners of Alfa Bank, a Russian bank accused in the dossier of having illicit contacts with Vladimir Putin.

Judge Mark Warby ordered Steele on July to pay damages of around $50,000, asserting that the dossier was “inaccurate” and “misleading.”

Steele revealed during that court proceeding that he wiped all of his emails and other correspondence with Danchenko and others regarding his work on the dossier.

Steele has largely avoided speaking publicly about the dossier. His firm has repeatedly declined requests for comment, though it did accuse a reporter for the DCNF last week of leveling “poisonous attacks” on Steele.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.