Washington Post — By Anne Gearan and Devlin Barrett October 19 at 10:23 AM
President Trump suggested Thursday that the FBI may have had a hand in creating an intelligence dossier that alleged ties between Russia and Trump’s presidential campaign.
“Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The compendium of information about Trump, much of it unproven, was produced by a former British intelligence agent last year, mostly before Trump won the 2016 election. Officials have said the FBI has confirmed some of the information, rejected other parts, and caution that it may be impossible to verify or disprove the rest.
Trump has vigorously denied allegations in the document that the Russian government has collected compromising information about him and was engaged in an active effort to assist his campaign.
The Washington Post has previously reported that the FBI agreed in October 2016 to pay the dossier’s author, Christopher Steele, for further work that might help its own investigation into Russian election activities.
The FBI, as well as the Senate Intelligence Committee, is investigating Russian interference in the election and alleged contacts between Trump’s associates and the Kremlin.
As the allegations contained in the dossier began appearing in news stories and the dossier itself became the subject of intense public debate, Steele became a publicly known figure and the FBI did not pursue further work from him, The Post reported in February.
Trump’s Twitter question about whether the FBI may have “paid for” the document suggests that he is asking whether the bureau had been involved earlier in the process, although his precise meaning is unclear.
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