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10 January 2018, 01:13 | Darnell Patrick
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Fusion GPS chief Glenn Simpson told a Senate panel past year that a controversial dossier his firm produced alleging Donald Trump had suspicious connections with Russians was substantiated and that the document's author briefed the Federal Bureau of Investigation on his findings, according to a newly released transcript.
"Chris said he was very concerned about whether this represented a national security threat and said. he thought we were obligated to tell someone in government", Simpson told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The dossier was written by former British MI6 agent Christopher Steele.
"Essentially what he told me was they had other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source and that - that they - my understanding was that they believed Chris at this point - that they believed Chris's information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization", Simpson said in the transcript. "The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public".
Simpson also said Steele severed his contacts with the FBI before the election following disclosures that the bureau's inquiry had found no connection between Trump campaign and Russian Federation and concerns that it was being "manipulated for political ends by the Trump people". That decision marks the most serious break yet in the cooperative relationship she has had with the Republican chairman of the committee, Sen. Simpson's firm commissioned the dossier, which was initially paid for by a conservative website and later by Democrats. Mr. Grassley last week rejected the firm's request to release the transcript, citing concerns that its release could taint the committee's ongoing investigations related to Russia's election meddling and the F.B.I.'s response.
"Her action undermines the integrity of the committee's oversight work and jeopardizes its ability to secure candid voluntary testimony", said Grassley spokesman Taylor Foy.
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Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein released a transcript of the interview on Tuesday, after repeated disagreements with Republicans on the committee.
A source close to Fusion GPS, however, told NBC that the Trump-team source did not exist.
It wasn't clear from the transcript, because of the differing ways Simpson described the source, whether the person was part of Trump's business or his campaign. In any event, he said don't worry about that, I know the flawless person, I have a contact there, they'll listen to me, they know who I am, I'll take care of it. Chuck Grassley, issued a criminal referral last week for Steele, alleging the committee had reason to believe that the former spy had lied to authorities about his conversations with the press regarding the dossier.
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