The former British spy who wrote the so-called Steele Dossier told a British court that US President Donald Trump may have posed a serious risk to UK national security.
The information recorded in a pre-election memo into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election produced by his firm, Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, “had important national security implications for
the UK, as well as the US,” Christopher Steele said in a court filing for a London libel trial.
The contents of that document suggested that “Trump and his administration might pose a serious risk to UK national security in relation to the receipt of sensitive intelligence from British sources and operations, especially sources/operations in or in relation to Russia,” he said in his witness statement.
Steele is being cross-examined as part of a libel suit brought against his firm by Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian technology entrepreneur whose company was named in the dossier. Steele, who Trump once called a “lowlife,” was made to pay compensation to two Russian billionaires in a separate data-protection suit earlier this month, after a London judge ruled a central allegation in his dossier was “inaccurate and misleading.”
The White House dismissed Steele’s claims.
“The author of the debunked dossier has zero credibility,” said Sarah Matthews, White House deputy press secretary. Steele was employed by a Washington-based research firm, Fusion GPS, in June 2016 to examine Trump’s links to Russia. The Democratic National Committee and the campaign of Hillary Clinton hired Fusion after Trump was headed for the nomination.
Steele said he felt “duty bound” to report the contents of the memo to UK national security authorities following Trump’s 2016 election.
He met with a senior British security official less than a week after the vote at the official’s London home, where he handed over a copy of the pre-election document, he said.
The close relationship between the countries meant “any serious security breach on one side, particularly relating to a sophisticated and capable counter-intelligence opponent like Russia, is a potential threat to the assets and capabilities of the other,” Steele said in his filing.