It’s surreal: Yahoo! News story used to corroborate Steele dossier was actually based on… the Steele dossier

The House Intelligence Committee memo contained a surreal assertion that an FBI FISA application to surveil former Trump aide Carter Page relied on a Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff to corroborate the Steele dossier.

Even though Steele himself leaked the information to Yahoo News.

(Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)

Ex-British spy Steele, who told a senior Justice Department official that he was “desperate” to prevent Trump from being elected president, was the author of the Fusion GPS dossier that was funded by the DNC and the Clinton campaign.

Using a planted article in that manner is known as circular reporting.

Fox News’s chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reported on how this was “used to lend credibility to the dossier.”

From the memo:

The [Trump campaign advisor] Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23, 2016, Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff, which focuses on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. This article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News. The Page FISA application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not directly provide information to Yahoo News. Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News—and several other outlets—in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS. [Clinton campaign law firm] Perkins Coie was aware of Steele’s initial media contacts because they hosted at least one meeting in Washington D.C. in 2016 with Steele and Fusion GPS where this matter was discussed. (Emphasis in original).


Isikoff repeatedly referred to “a well-placed Western intelligence source” in his article, with that intelligence source eventually proving to be Steele.

The reporter expressed surprise over the bureau using his article in its FISA application, saying it was “a bit beyond me” in a Friday episode of his podcast, “Skullduggery.”

“Obviously the information that I got from Christopher Steele was information the FBI already had,” he said.

The revelation, considered a “cardinal sin” in the intelligence community, didn’t escape notice on social media:


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