Author of Steele dossier had 'cordial' relationship with Ivanka Trump: report

Author of Steele dossier had 'cordial' relationship with Ivanka Trump: report
© Greg Nash

Christopher Steele, the author of the Steele dossier, had a “cordial” relationship with Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpTrump and allies grapple with how to target Harris Kanye West meets with Jared Kushner amid White House bid: report Trump donations to Harris attorney general campaign gain renewed attention after VP announcement MORE ahead of his investigation into her father’s campaign’s connections to Russia, ABC News reported Monday.

Steele has been accused of bias in his report connecting President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSPS warns Pennsylvania mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted Michael Cohen book accuses Trump of corruption, fraud Trump requests mail-in ballot for Florida congressional primary MORE’s 2016 campaign to Russia. But he told Justice Department investigators that he had a “personal” relationship with an unnamed Trump family member, making the accusations “ridiculous,” according to the report. ABC News identified this unnamed person as Ivanka Trump. 

Steele’s reported relationship with the president’s elder daughter came out amid the release of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on whether political bias influenced the launch of the Russia probe. The report was released Monday.  

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Steele, a former British intelligence officer, met Ivanka Trump more than a decade ago in 2007 to discuss potentially working together but that the relationship never came to fruition, a source familiar with their past contacts told ABC News. 

The two exchanged emails obtained by ABC News in which they discussed meeting up near Trump Tower in 2008. After Steele co-founded his private company, Orbis Business Intelligence, their discussions evolved into how Steele’s firm could assist the Trump Organization’s desire to expand into foreign markets, two sources familiar with the meetings told ABC. 

He told investigators when interviewed in June that “if anything he was ‘favorably disposed’ toward the Trump family before he began his research because he had visited a Trump family member at Trump Tower and ‘been friendly’ with [the family member] for some years.”

The Hill reached out to the White House, Ivanka Trump’s lawyer and Orbis Business Intelligence for comment. Orbis Business Intelligence declined to comment to ABC News.

Steele was hired by opposition research firm Fusion GPS to look into then-candidate Donald Trump’s connections to Russia. He helped compile a dossier of information that was used as a source in the Russia investigation that continued for two years during Trump’s presidency. 

The president and his supporters have condemned the investigation, which morphed into former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s probe. Trump specifically called out Steele as “dopey” and “a failed spy.” 

An ongoing criminal Justice Department investigation is also looking into the origins of the Russia probe and is overseen by Attorney General William BarrBill BarrHillicon Valley: 'Fortnite' owner sues Apple after game is removed from App Store | Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations How would a Biden Justice Department be different? MORE.