One of the big D.C. questions being asked is who provided BuzzFeed News with a copy of the infamous Trump dossier written by former British spy Christopher Steele. The number of people who had access to the controversial document is surprisingly small. Only a handful of people could have relayed the full document which consists of 17 memos dated between June 20, 106 and December 13, 2016.
One of the people who had access to Steele’s dossier is none other than Sen. John McCain. The Arizona senator and Trump critic has already acknowledged providing an early version of the document to former FBI Director James Comey. But McCain denied this week that he also gave a version to BuzzFeed.
“I gave it to no one except for the director of the FBI. I don’t know why you’re digging this up now,” McCain said during a heated exchange with The Daily Caller on Wednesday. The question was asked after McCain’s office declined to answer a direct question on the issue.
We know that McCain and Steele both had copies of the dossier, but in addition to them, opposition research firm Fusion GPS had the 35-page document, as well as David J. Kramer, a former State Department official and an associate of McCain’s.
BuzzFeed reporter Ken Bensinger revealed this week in federal court that he obtained a copy of the report in December and that his source allowed him to take photographs of the dossier.
Fusion GPS has categorically denied that it released the dossier to BuzzFeed. “Buzzfeed went to [Fusion GPS] and tried to get the dossier from them, and they refused to give it to Buzzfeed,” Evan Fray-Witzer said in a deposition last month in federal court in Florida, where BuzzFeed is being sued.
The identity of BuzzFeed’s source is significant for two reasons. One is a pending lawsuit involving a Russian tech executive recruited to use his companies to infiltrate the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee. And the other is the possibility that the document was disseminated to the media as a hit job on Trump.
McCain and Kramer, a former official at the McCain Institute, were first told about the dossier in November while having a conversation with Sir Andrew Wood. Wood is a former British spy and associate of Steele’s. Steele allowed Kramer to view the dossier but did not give him a copy. An “arrangement” would later be made for Fusion to give a copy of the document to McCain through Kramer. McCain then provided the text of the dossier to Comey.
Do you believe that McCain did not release the dossier to BuzzFeed?
Credit: Daily Caller