Conservative site funded project that led to Trump dossier
A conservative publication set in motion the research that led to a dossier that includes unverified claims regarding ties between President Trump and Russia, the publication revealed on Friday.
The Washington Free Beacon originally funded the project through the firm Fusion GPS, a connection the publication’s lawyers revealed for the first time to the House Intelligence Committee on Friday.
The publication stopped funding the project in the spring of 2016. At that point, Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee picked up funding of the project.
The project until that point had focused on researching multiple Republican presidential candidates and was not looking at collusion with Russia, according to the Free Beacon.
The former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele also became involved after the publication stopped funding the project and went on to compile the dossier, which is sometimes known as the “Steele dossier.”
“Representatives of the Free Beacon approached the House Intelligence Committee today and offered to answer what questions we can in their ongoing probe of Fusion GPS and the Steele dossier,” the publication’s Editor in Chief Matthew Continetti and Chairman Michael Goldfarb said in a statement. “The Free Beacon had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele.”
The committee confirmed that the publication came forward.
“The Washington Free Beacon has issued a statement asserting that it had no involvement with Christopher Stele or the dossier he compiled from Russian sources,” committee spokesman Jack Langer told Fox News Friday night. “The Beacon has agreed to cooperate with the House Intelligence Committee to help the Committee verify this information.”
The dossier, which alleges ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow, circulated among news organizations in Washington throughout the fall of 2016, but was not reported on at the time because many of the allegations — including the most salacious ones — could not be verified.
— Updated Oct. 28.
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