NYT Report On No Trump-Russia Link Led Steele To Cut Off Contact With FBI

Trump dossier. Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who set-up Orbis Business Intelligence and compiled a dossier on Donald Trump, in London where he has spoken to the media for the first time. Picture date: Tues... Trump dossier. Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who set-up Orbis Business Intelligence and compiled a dossier on Donald Trump, in London where he has spoken to the media for the first time. Picture date: Tuesday March 7, 2017. See PA story POLITICS Trump. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire URN:30440494 MORE LESS
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The former British spy behind an infamous dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia apparently broke off communication with the FBI because of a October 2016 New York Times story claiming that no such ties had been found, according to newly released testimony.

Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, who assembled the dossier based on research by the former spy, Christopher Steele, testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Times article made Steele feel “concern about what was going on at the FBI.”

Simpson’s testimony took place in August. An interview transcript was made public Tuesday.

“There was a concern that the FBI was being manipulated for political ends by the Trump people and we didn’t really understand what was going on,” Simpson testified, calling the Oct. 31 article “a real Halloween special.”

The Times story reported at a critical moment in the 2016 election campign that the FBI had found no “conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government” during a months-long inquiry. The story has come under fire in light of subsequent reporting, much of it by the Times’ own reporters, detailing contacts between the two.

Simpson testified that the article contradicted Steele and Fusion’s own research into Trump’s connections with Russia.

“Chris was confused and somewhat disturbed and didn’t think he understood the landscape and I think both of us felt like things were happening that we didn’t understand and that we must not know everything about, and therefore, you know, in a situation like that the smart thing to do is stand down,” Simpson said.

Simpson testified that Steele had two previous contacts with the FBI about his findings, one that he initiated in early July 2016, and another in Rome in September 2016 that Simpson said he believed was requested by the bureau.

The Fusion GPS founder said that passing information on to the FBI was not an aim of the initial project investigating Trump’s Russia connections. But Simpson said that Steele felt compelled to do so because of his “grave concern” about his findings.

The full transcript of Simpson’s interview was released Tuesday by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the committee. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) had argued against making it public and referred Steele to the FBI for allegedly lying to federal investigators about his contacts with the media. Grassley said Feinstein’s decision to release the transcript “undermines the integrity of the committee’s oversight work.”

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Notable Replies

  1. I’ll never forgive the NYT for that story and how it misrepresented the reality of the situation. Now we find out the story not only had the effect of misinforming typical news consumers, but it led Steele to change his approach to his inquiry. It’s possible that decision by Steel was in fact a good one, since his instincts regarding anti-HRC factions in the FBI were correct. However, that story by NYT was perhaps second only to the Comey nothingburger in turning HRC’s lead into an ultimate loss.

  2. Fixed: Grassley said Feinstein’s decision to release the transcript “undermines our attempt to undermine the integrity of the committee’s oversight work.”

  3. The NYT really seems to favor anti-American agendas at critical moments. WMDs!!

  4. I hope we never forget how complicit the NY Times was in the election of Donald Trump. Not only did they endlessly attack Hillary using implications of wrongdoing throughout the campaign, they ran that bogus story just days before the election exonerating Trump from Russia collusion.

    I don’t think the NY Times catches nearly enough heat for their role in what’s happening to our country. Even too many liberals buy into the ridiculous right-wing caricature of the NYT as a “liberal”-biased publication.

  5. No doubt! Judith Miller is exhibit #1, despite her stint in the clink for protecting a source.

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