Washington Post removes large portions of two stories on Steele dossier

The Washington Post reported on Friday that it would be amending and eliminating parts of two stories the newspaper did regarding the Steele dossier in light of a recent indictment and new reporting.

A story published in March 2017 and one in February 2019 that connected “Source D” in former British intelligence analyst Christopher Steele’s dossier to Belarusian American businessman Sergei Millian were corrected and had portions removed. 

An editor’s note appeared on each one providing notice that the articles had been amended. 

The March 2017 article identified Millian as “Source D” and “Source E” in different areas of the Steele dossier, including identifying him as “Source D” behind a claim that Russian intelligence learned that a hotel room in Moscow once used by former President Obama and his wife was defiled by Trump-hired prostitutes, according to the Post.

The dossier said that the “Source E” also substantiated that claim, though the newspaper said that those allegations have not been proven true. 

The Post also reported on a February 2019 story, which ran with the headline “Belarus-born businessman sought proximity to Trump’s world in 2016,” discussing Millian’s involvement in some business activities of the former president. 

Analyst Igor Danchenko, who was indicted earlier this month, helped put together information for the Steele dossier. Danchenko’s indictment alleges that the analyst might have received information regarding the salacious claim in the 2017 story from an operative of the Democratic Party instead of Millian, according to the newspaper.

The Post that it was also not clear if Millian was “Source D” in the dossier based upon a recent interview with one of the two sources cited in the March 2017. 

As a result, it “created doubts” amid the new reporting and indictment regarding the publication of the two stories, executive editor Sally Buzbee said, according to the newspaper.

When asked for comment, a spokesperson for the Post directed The Hill to an editor’s note that was put on the 2017 story.

“The original version of this article published on March 29, 2017, said that Sergei Millian was a source for parts of a dossier of unverified allegations against Donald Trump. That account has been contradicted by allegations contained in a federal indictment filed in November 2021 and undermined by further reporting by The Washington Post. As a result, portions of the story and an accompanying video have been removed and the headline has been changed,” the editor’s note read.

“The original account was based on two people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to provide sensitive information. One of those people now says the new information “puts in grave doubt that Millian” was a source for parts of the dossier. The other declined to comment,” it continued.

— Updated at 5:24 p.m.

Tags Barack Obama Christopher Steele Donald Trump John Durham Steele dossier

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