Christopher Steele, the former U.K. intelligence officer, the MI6 member behind the Steele Dossier that claimed Russian officials held negotiating information on former U.S. President Donald Trump, defended the claims made in the dossier during his first on-camera interview since it disclosed in 2017. In a video clip from an awaiting ABC News documentary released Sunday, Steele said that he planned to be available for the interview because he sought to set the record straight about his part in the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
George Stephanopoulos previews his exclusive interview with Christopher Steele.
“Out of the Shadows: The Man Behind the Steele Dossier” premieres tomorrow — streaming only on Hulu pic.twitter.com/lNJQ8MIUe8
— IT’S TIME FOR JUSTICE (@LiddleSavages) October 18, 2021
ABC News released a part of the video documentary containing parts of the interview of Steel on Sunday, with the complete documentary scheduled to be released on Hulu Monday morning. The interview host, George Stephanopoulos, questioned him, most of the world initially listened to your name around five years ago, but you stayed quiet until now. Why speak out now? Steele replied that the primary and most crucial reason is that the issues they identified back in 2016 are still there and maybe turned severe. Further, he added that now it was important to come forward and set the record straight.
Unproved Claims such as Pee Tape
His unverified dossier became the most contentious aspect of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe into former president Trump and Russia that led to the special counsel probe of Robert Mueller. Several claims, like “pee tape,” were still unproved, in spite of the efforts of the FBI to authenticate sensational allegations and some years of investigators looking into the accusations involving Trump and Russia. The investigative report of Mueller also concluded that another claim Steele made – that in 2016, former attorney of Trump, Michael Cohen traveled to Prague to meet Russian officials – was untrue.
Steele strengthened his belief that most of the dossier claims are accurate and true. The FBI’s use of the dossier of Steel to get a foreign surveillance warrant on former campaign aide Carter Page of Donald Trump was the subject of a mocking U.S. Justice Department’s inspector general report that previously released in 2019. Furthermore, the report found that the Russian investigation of the FBI began properly, but it raised serious concerns about the sources for Steele’s dossier, including the fact that his key source told the FBI that they might jokingly talk about the alleged sexual activities of Trump and that the tape was assumption and rumor.
According to BuzzFeed News, Steele reiterated his confidence in the most argumentative claim in the unproven dossier – Russia had a video of Republican president Trump watching prostitutes urinating in a hotel suite. However, in January 2017, CNN reported that senior intelligence officials presented Trump with claims from the Steele Dossier. But actually, there is no evidence the video exists, and the former president denied the alleged incident taking place.
The FBI Proved Cohen didn’t Travel to Prague in 2016
Steele stood by several of claims he made in the preliminary dossier, including the travel of Cohen to Prague. Cohen rejected under oath ever traveling to the Czech Republic during a hearing at Congress in 2019 and cooperated with investigative agents looking into the former president. In addition, the inspector general of the U.S. Justice Department released a report in 2019 that revealed that the FBI proved Cohen didn’t travel to Prague in 2016.
Steele justified his argument that Cohen may still be lying about traveling to Prague despite collaborating with agents on other matters, saying the tour to Prague would be very self-impeaching to a very great degree. Stephanopoulos asked since his imprisonment since he’s turned on Trump; he’s told every single story. Why would not he admit to this?