Did The Trump-Russia Dossier Grow Out Of Jeb Bush's Super PAC?

Rainier Ehrhardt

Following the publication of a dossier containing explosive and unverified info on Donald Trump and Russia, BBC News reported Wednesday that it originated in opposition research done by a former British intelligence officer working for a Super PAC supporting none other than Jeb Bush.

If that sounds like a too-good-to-be-true political plot twist, that's because maybe it is—a lawyer for the PAC told TPM it "had nothing to do with British Intelligence officers."

The Guardian reported earlier Wednesday that the former British intelligence official credited with compiling the dossier on the alleged Russia-Trump ties had been working as a subcontractor for an opposition research firm digging up dirt for one of Trump's Republican presidential primary opponents. The article pointed out that often, research firms do not know who exactly who is hiring them.

The Guardian's report did not name who the opposition research firm's client was. But BBC News' Paul Wood later reported, without citing any sources, that "the opposition research firm that commissioned the report had worked first for a superpac - political action committee - supporting Jeb Bush during the Republican primaries."

Almost as soon as the BBC report hit Twitter, Charlie Spies, an attorney for Right to Rise USA, which had supported Bush's presidential candidacy, disputed it.

"Right to Rise categorically denies the BBC reporter's made up report and will be demanding that he retract the made up allegation," Spies wrote in an email to TPM. "Other than enjoying James Bond movies, the PAC had nothing to do with British Intelligence officers."

Spies had tweeted that the PAC's opposition research team had denied the BBC report and that he planned to send a cease-and-desist letter to the news organization:

The head of the PAC, Mike Murphy, also tweeted and denied the report.

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