by Aaron Klein, Breitbart:
TEL AVIV — In testimony released publicly earlier this week, the founder of the controversial opposition research firm Fusion GPS revealed that an associate of Sen. John McCain first reached out to the former British spy who compiled the infamous, largely discredited 35-page dossier on President Donald Trump in order to obtain information for McCain to pass to the FBI leadership.
The storyline of McCain’s associate initiating contact with former intelligence agent Christopher Steele, who was paid by Fusion GPS to compile the anti-Trump charges, for the first time indicates that McCain’s camp may have taken the initiative to obtain the shoddy dossier. Fusion GPS’s work against Trump was reportedly funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Last December, it was revealed that it was McCain who passed the controversial dossier contents produced by Fusion GPS to then-FBI Director James Comey, whose agency reportedly utilized the dossier as a basis for its probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
A January 11 statement from McCain attempted to explain why he provided the documents to the FBI but did not mention how he came to possess the dossier or whether he knew who funded it.
“Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgment about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the director of the FBI,” McCain said at the time. “That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue.”
In August 22 testimony released earlier this week, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn R. Simpson divulged that contact between Steele and McCain’s office was initiated by David Kramer, a former State Department official who was described by Simpson as a “long-time advisor to Senator McCain.”
Simpson said that Kramer related to Steele that Kramer and McCain were at a security conference in Nova Scotia where the contents of the dossier were discussed with the two by Sir Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Moscow. Kramer had reached out to Steele for more information, Simpson stated.
Simpson testified that Kramer reached out a few weeks after the November presidential election last year:
At some point a few weeks after the election Chris called me and said that he had received an inquiry from David Kramer, who was a long-time advisor to Senator McCain, and that according to — Kramer told Chris that he had run into Sir Andrew Wood at a security conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia and that Kramer was accompanying Senator McCain to this conference and that the three of them had had an unscheduled or unplanned encounter where the issue of this research was discussed and the essence of it, I guess, was conveyed to Senator McCain and to David Kramer from Andrew Wood.
Simpson said he was not sure whether Steele gave him Wood’s name at that time. “He did say someone that he worked with in the past who was a former UK government official with experience in Russia had had this conversation with David Kramer and John McCain and that Senator McCain had followed up on it as to what more there was to know about these allegations, this information.”
“So Chris asked me do you know David Kramer,” stated Simpson. “And I said yes, I’ve known David Kramer for a long time. David Kramer is part of a small group of people that I’m sort of loosely affiliated with.”
So I told Chris he’s legit. David is someone I’ve known for a long time and he knows a lot about these issues and he’s very concerned about Putin and the Kremlin and the rise of the new Russia and criminality and kleptocracy. So he said, well, can we trust him? And I said yes, I think we can trust him.
Simpson made clear that the request for more information was initiated by McCain’s associate, Kramer. He said that Wood’s sharing of the information with McCain and Kramer at the security conference “caused David Kramer to follow up with Chris (Steele) and that it was passive. In other words, it was initiated by Mr. Kramer.”
Simpson said that the goal of McCain’s camp in obtaining the dossier information was to inquire about the document’s contents with FBI leadership.
Referring to Kramer, Simpson stated, “He says he wants information to give to Senator McCain so that Senator McCain can ask questions about it at the FBI, with the leadership of the FBI.
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