Steele Dossier contained falsehoods traced to Russian disnformation campaign

by Editorial Team

The FBI came to believe that the Steele Dossier contained at least two false statements that can be traced to an elaborate Russian disinformation campaign, newly unredacted Justice Department report footnotes revealed Friday — but the agency continued to rely on the controversial document as it investigated the 2016 Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia.

The declassified footnotes are from the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s previously released report on FBI misconduct.

The revelation — that the FBI believed dossier author and former British spy Christopher Steele relied in part on manipulated falsehoods — was met with ire by two senators who had pushed for declassification.

“It’s ironic that the Russian collusion narrative was fatally flawed because of Russian disinformation,” said Sens. Chuck Grassley, (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) in a statement to Fox News.

“These footnotes confirm that there was a direct Russian disinformation campaign in 2016, and there were ties between Russian intelligence and a presidential campaign — the Clinton campaign, not [President] Trump’s.”

The FBI assessed the dossier for about a year between 2016 and 2017 and was tipped off to the indications of Russian meddling toward the latter part of the assessment, according to the footnotes.

One of the footnotes, which was previously redacted completely, read: “The [REDACTED] stated that it did not have high confidence in this subset of Steele’s reporting and assessed that the referenced subset was part of a Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate US foreign relations.”

That subset referred to the activities of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who Steele’s dossier claimed had traveled to Prague to meet with Russian agents. Special counsel Robert Mueller was unable to substantiate that claim, and Cohen denied he ever went to Prague.

The footnote went on to state that media reporting into details of a trip Trump took to Moscow in 2013 was not only false, but the product of Russian intelligence.

The footnote does not specify if those bogus trip details involve the dossier’s never-substantiated allegations of Trump having contact with Russian prostitutes.

The FBI’s application for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants to spy on members of the Trump campaign relied in part on the dossier, which was compiled on behalf of Fusion GPS, a firm conducting opposition research for the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.


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