Spy told FBI that Russia wants to cultivate Trump: report
© Getty Images

A former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence provided the FBI with information he says shows the Russian government has spent years trying to influence Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE

In June, the officer, who now works for a U.S. firm gathering information on Russia for corporate clients, was told to research the Republican presidential nominee's dealings in Russia, Mother Jones reported Monday night.

ADVERTISEMENT
"It started off as a fairly general inquiry," the ex-spy said.

As he searched, he says he found “an established exchange of information between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin of mutual benefit."

Citing it as an “extraordinary situation,” the ex-intelligence officer sent a copy of his report to the FBI. 

In it, he charged that Russian intelligence had "compromised" Trump and could "blackmail him” and that it had a file on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies DNC, RNC step up cyber protections Gun proposal picks up GOP support MORE compiled from "bugged conversations she had on various visits to Russia and intercepted phone calls."

He said FBI officials greeted his July memo with “shock and horror” but did not request additional information.

The FBI then asked him for more memos in August, he added, prompting him to submit dossiers on members of Trump’s inner circle with ties to Russia.

ADVERTISEMENT
“It’s quite clear there was or is a pretty substantial inquiry going on,” he said of the FBI’s examination of Trump’s links to Moscow.

“This is something of huge significance, way above party politics,” the former spy added. “I think [Trump’s] own party should be aware of this stuff as well.”

Mother Jones said the ex-spy spent almost two decades on Russian intelligence matters and now works with a U.S. firm that gathers information on Russia for corporate clients.

The former intelligence official began researching Trump earlier this year, it said, as part of an opposition research project funded by a Republican client critical of the billionaire.

Mother Jones added that the project’s funding switched to Democratic supporters before the anonymous source discovered troubling connections between Russia and Trump.

“There was an established exchange of information between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin of mutual benefit,” he said, according to Russian sources he contacted while researching Trump.

Trump has repeatedly weathered criticism from Democrats and other Republicans over his sometimes warm tone toward Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Republicans are headed for a disappointing end to their year in power Obama's HHS secretary could testify in Menendez trial MORE (D-Nev.) alleged over that the FBI has “explosive information” about ties between Trump and the Russian government.

Reid declined to divulge additional details about the information or to clarify how federal officials discovered it during his Oct. 30 letter to FBI Director James Comey. 

Meanwhile, a Slate report published Monday evening alleged a connection between a server registered to the Trump organization to two Russian servers registered to "Alfa Bank."

And NBC News reported earlier in the evening that the FBI is looking into former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s foreign business dealings. 

However, The New York Times reported late Monday that FBI officials’s investigations have yet to confirm any ties between Trump and Russia.