Who is the man allegedly behind the Donald Trump dossier?
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A former British intelligence officer has been identified in reports as the man behind an explosive dossier about US President-elect Donald Trump. Here’s everything we know so far about Christopher Steele – and a reminder of the unverified allegations in the file. First off, remind us what is in the dossier? It’s 35 pages long and contains unverified allegations that Russian security officials have compromising material on Trump that could be used to blackmail him. One of the allegations is that President-elect Donald Trump paid prostitutes to perform “golden showers” when he was in Russia. It’s become known as #Watersportsgate on Twitter – yeah, there have been a lot of jokes going round… It was BuzzFeed News who made the decision to publish the documents. The dossier has been circulating in Washington for some time, but media organisations held back from publication because they were uncertain of its credibility. US director of national intelligence James Clapper said he had told Trump that the leak did not come from the government’s intelligence community. OK, got it. So, what are the details about Christopher Steele – the man reported to have compiled the dossier – that we need to know? The 52-year-old is a former MI6 officer. And he’s a director of London-based Orbis Business Intelligence, along with Christopher Burrows, 58, according to Companies House. Orbis, based in Grosvenor Gardens, close to London’s upmarket Belgravia area, was founded in 2009 by former British intelligence professionals. It has a “global network” of experts and “prominent business figures”, according to its website. It says: “We provide strategic advice, mount intelligence-gathering operations and conduct complex, often cross–border investigations.” What’s Steele said about being identified as the man behind the explosive dossier? The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said Steele has repeatedly declined requests for interviews in recent weeks, with an intermediary telling the newspaper the subject was “too hot”, and that a neighbour had said he was away for a few days. In terms of Burrows, the other director of Orbis, WSJ said he has refused to “confirm or deny” that the corporate intelligence company had produced the report.
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