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Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent behind the controversial “Steele Dossier” that gathered intel on possible links between former President TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says ‘extreme polarization’ is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won’t vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt ‘a way of getting people’s attention’ MORE and Russia, has defended himself and his work against critics in his first televised interview.
In an interview with ABC News, Steele opened up about the 17 reports he wrote that that make up the controversial document, which included unsubstantiated claims that Trump’s campaign conspired with Russian agents to influence the 2016 U.S. election.
“I stand by the work we did, the sources that we had, and the professionalism which we applied to it,” Steele told ABC News in an upcoming documentary, “Out of the Shadows: The Man Behind the Steele Dossier.”
In an interview that aired on “This Week with George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosBiden giving stiff-arm to press interviews Yellen confident of minimum global corporate tax passage in Congress Democratic lawmakers, Yellen defend Biden on the economy MORE,” Steele said that he stands by the dossier and added that he believes the “kompromat” tape that allegedly shows Trump ordering prostitutes to urinate on a bed in Russia in 2013 “probably” exists.
“Do you still believe that this tape exists?” Stephanopoulos asked him.
“I think it probably does, but I would not put 100 percent certainty on it,” he added.
When asked why Russia never released the tape, Steele said, “It hasn’t needed to be released … I think the Russians felt they’d got pretty good value out of Donald Trump when he was president of the U.S.”
Steele’s report was heavily involved in the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s Russian ties that led to an investigation by former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE.
Mueller’s report concluded that a number of Steele’s claims could not be proven, including the alleged prostitute actions. The report also highlighted a claim in the dossier that former Trump fixer Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenTrump Organization faces new scrutiny in New York civil probe Michael Cohen: Trump bluffing about another White House bid Eric Trump lawyer in New York attorney general’s fraud case quits MORE had met with Russian officials in Prague in 2016, saying that it was untrue.
“Do you think it hurts your credibility at all that you won’t accept the findings of the FBI in this particular case?” Stephanopoulos asked Steele while referring to the Cohen case.
“I’m prepared to accept that not everything in the dossier is 100 percent accurate,” Steele said in the interview. “I have yet to be convinced that that is one of them.”
Cohen, who is in prison and has worked with investigators on their investigations into Trump, responded to Steele’s comments.
“I’m pleased to see that my old friend Christopher Steele, a/k/a Austin Powers, has crawled out of the pub long enough to make up a few more stories,” told ABC News. “I eagerly await his next secret dossier which proves the existence of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and that Elvis is still alive.”
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