WaPo met with anti-Trump dossier author Christopher Steele twice during 2016 election

Turns out, ex-British spy Christopher Steele was a busy man in 2016.

Eager to get his anti-Trump dossier out before the November election, Steele met with a number of media outlets that year, including The Washington Post.

Other media outlets that met with Steele include the New York Times, the New Yorker and Yahoo News, court filings show.

(Image: Shutterstock)

In a February 6 article on Steele titled, “Hero or hired gun? How a British former spy became a flash point in the Russia investigation,” The Post acknowledged two meetings in the run up to the election, with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn R. Simpson joining Steele in the first meeting.

Ironically, the paper said that it “made efforts to independently confirm Steele’s information at the time, but was unable to corroborate his specific findings and did not publish stories based on the material.”

Yet, the FBI used Steel’s dossier to help obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump aide Carter Page.

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

The first meeting with Steele took place in September 2016, in a seventh-floor conference room at The Post’s downtown Washington headquarters.

The ex-spy was nervous about the openness of the accommodations.

“Don’t you have any meeting space without glass walls?” Steele reportedly asked.

He spoke with the paper “for almost two hours,” with Simpson occasionally chiming in.

This was around the same time Steele spoke to then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, according to The Post.

A subsequent meeting was held in October, but the details of what was discussed were not disclosed.

The Post was not struck with a sudden desire for transparency as much as protecting its backside, explaining that they agreed to keep the meetings “off the record because of the sensitivity of the material,” but now acknowledge them “because they have been referenced in court documents.”

It’s also not clear if the paper knew at the time of the meetings that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund the Fusion GPS research. The Post didn’t report on this development until October 2017, a full year later.

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Tom Tillison


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