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McCain gave dossier containing 'sensitive information' to FBI
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) says he delivered a dossier to FBI Director James Comey late last year containing unverified claims that Russia had gathered compromising information on President-elect Donald Trump.
"Late last year, I received sensitive information that has since been made public," McCain said in a statement on Wednesday. "Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgement about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the Director of the FBI. That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue."
The statement comes on the heels of reports that President Obama, Trump and congressional leaders were briefed on the allegations made in the dossier.
The two-page summary is based on a collection memos created by political opponents of Trump during his presidential campaign, alleging that the Russians had compromising information on Trump. The memos were purportedly compiled by a former British intelligence official.
Those memos have apparently been circulating among journalists and politicians in Washington for months, but none of the claims have been verified.
Trump responded to the media reports on Twitter Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, calling them "fake news" and "a total political witch hunt" and denying that Russia has ever tried to blackmail or leverage him in any way.
The president-elect has repeatedly denied that the Kremlin interfered in the presidential election, despite unanimous agreement among the U.S. intelligence community that the it did. That puts Trump at odds with McCain, who has criticized Trump's skepticism of U.S. intelligence and has voiced concern over Russia's election influence campaign.
During hearings on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Comey refused to say whether the FBI was investigating the claims made in the dossier, but noted that the Russians did not hack the Trump campaign.