The FBI team investigating President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign allegedly received evidence that information contained in the infamous anti-Trump dossier, created by ex-British spy Christopher Steele, contained Russian disinformation that was part of a campaign launched by Russia’s intelligence service.
Fox News’ Gregg Re reported:
One of the footnotes, which was previously redacted in its entirety, 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, whom 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 has denied it.
The footnote goes on to state that a 2017 report “contained information … that the public reporting about the details of Trump’s [REDACTED] activities in Moscow during a trip in 2013 were false, and that they were the product of RIS ‘infiltra[ing] a source into the network’ of a [REDACTED] who compiled a dossier of information on Trump’s activities.”
CBS News’ Catherine Herridge highlighted another footnote that was declassified, which stated: “According to a document circulated among Crossfire Hurricane team members and supervisors in early October 2016, Person 1 had historical contact with persons and entities suspected of being linked to RIS. The document described reporting [REDACTED] that Person 1 ‘was rumored to be a former KGB/SVR officer.’ In addition, in late December 2016, Department Attorney Bruce Ohr told SSA 1 that he had met with Glenn Simpson and that Simpson had assessed that Person 1 was a RIS officer who was central in connecting Trump to Russia.”
…In addition, in late December 2016, Department Attorney Bruce Ohr told SSA 1 that he had met with Glenn Simpson (Fusion GPS) and that Simpson had assessed that Person 1 was a RIS (Russian intel) officer who was central in connecting Trump to Russia.” @CBSNews #MyHighlighter pic.twitter.com/xJxv04zPSI
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) April 10, 2020
The disclosures were made in response to Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) repeatedly demanding that the redacted footnotes from the Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report be made public.
The two Senators highlighted how disgraced former FBI Director James Comey’s FBI did not included the information in its FISA applications to surveil the Trump campaign.
Grassley and Johnson said in a joint statement, “For years, the public was fed a healthy diet of leaks, innuendo and false information to imply that President Trump and his campaign were part of a Russian conspiracy to spread disinformation. The FBI’s blind pursuit of the investigation, despite exculpatory and contradictory information, only legitimized the narrative. The mounting evidence undercutting this narrative should have stopped the investigation early in its tracks. Instead, it took several years and millions in taxpayer dollars to conclude that the allegations were baseless.”
“Had FBI leadership heeded the numerous warnings of Russian disinformation, paid attention to the glaring contradictions in the pool of evidence and followed long-standing procedures to ensure accuracy, everyone would have been better off,” the statement continued. “Carter Page’s civil liberties wouldn’t have been shredded, taxpayer dollars wouldn’t have been wasted, the country wouldn’t be as divided and the FBI’s reputation wouldn’t be in shambles.”
“It’s ironic that the Russian collusion narrative was fatally flawed because of Russian disinformation,” the senators concluded. “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 Trump’s.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.