Alleged dossier source claims to be ‘totally exonerated’ by Mueller report, but is he?

Chuck Ross, DCNF

  • Sergei Millian, who has been identified in news reports as a major source for the Steele dossier, claimed to be ‘totally exonerated’ after the release of the Mueller report.
  • Millian accused Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson of waging a ‘smear campaign’ against him.
  • Despite the bold claim, the Mueller report said that Millian refused to meet with investigators.
  • Millian had repeated contacts with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. 

A Belorusian-American businessman who has been identified in press reports as a major source for the Steele Dossier is claiming to be “totally exonerated” following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

Despite the bold proclamation, Mueller’s lengthy report does not appear to vindicate Sergei Millian, the former chairman of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce.

Instead, Mueller says that Millian refused to meet with investigators probing possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

Millian “remained out of the country since the inception of our investigation and declined to meet with members of the Office despite our repeated efforts to obtain an interview,” the report reads.

Nevertheless, Millian used the release of the Mueller report, which found no Trump-Russia collusion, to take aim at the masterminds behind the dossier.

“Now, as ‘Russiagate’ is over and feeling totally exonerated by the recent report, let the inquisitive minds find the truth about the ‘#Pissgate’ creators, a lovely couple, GS/CS, who organized the smear campaign against the #President, #Millian, the team or are they #untouchable?” Millian wrote on Twitter.

Millian appeared to be referencing Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson and former British spy Christopher Steele.

The Wall Street Journal and ABC News identified Millian as a dossier source on Jan. 24, 2017, two weeks after BuzzFeed published the controversial document.

According to those reports, Millian was the source for the salacious claim that the Russian government had compromising material on Donald Trump in the form of a video tape of the real estate mogul with prostitutes in Moscow in 2013.

Steele characterized the source as a “close associate” of Trump’s who claimed to have been with Trump in Moscow when he was recorded. According to reporting on Millian, he unwittingly provided information to an associate of Steele’s who was reporting back to the ex-MI6 officer.

Millian has denied being a source for the dossier. He has said in statements to The Daily Caller News Foundation that he was not with Trump in Moscow when the alleged blackmail tape was recorded.

“It’s all garbage news,” he told TheDCNF last year.

“Never happened,” Millian said, adding that he “was not in Moscow on that night.”

The Washington Post has since reported that Millian was a source. So did journalists Michael Isikoff and David Corn in their book “Russian Roulette.”

According to Isikoff and Corn, Glenn Simpson, the Fusion GPS founder, tipped off ABC News reporter Brian Ross about Millian. Ross interviewed Millian on July 29, 2016, a day before he first met George Papadopoulos.

Simpson provided the tip even though he doubted Millian’s credibility.

“Had Millian made something up or repeated rumors he had heard from others to impress Steele’s collector? Simpson had his doubts. He considered Millian a big talker,” wrote Isikoff and Corn, who meet with Steele and Simpson during the campaign.

The Mueller report discusses Millian in the context of his contacts with Papadopoulos, and not his alleged link to the dossier.

The report does have an intriguing passage about a Trump sex tape allegation, that one Mueller witness claimed to be fake.

A footnote in the 448-page report mentions Giorgi Rtskhiladze, a Georgian businessman who had contact with Michael Cohen, the former Trump lawyer.

Rtskhiladze sent Cohen a text message on Oct. 30, 2016, saying he “Stopped flow of tapes from Russia but not sure if there’s anything else. Just so you know…”

Mueller’s report says that Cohen told Trump about Rtskhiladze’s message. Rtskhiladze said that he had been told that the tape was a fake, but he did not pass that along to Cohen.

Millian first reached out to Papadopoulos through LinkedIn on July 15, 2016. In the message, Millian claimed to have “insider knowledge and direct access to the top hierarchy in Russian politics.”

The pair met on July 30, 2016 and Aug. 1, 2016, Mueller’s report says.

Papadopoulos is not mentioned in the dossier. But the document, which the FBI used in its collusion probe, does make reference to internal Trump campaign discussions.

Millian has made cryptic remarks in the past suggesting that he had an inside track to the Trump campaign, or to Trump himself.

In his ABC News interview, Millian said that Trump “has tricks up his sleeve…that you will soon see in the presidential campaign.”

According to Mueller, Millian messaged Papadopoulos on Aug. 23, 2016, offering to “share with you a disruptive technology that might be instrumental in your political work for the campaign.”

Millian and Papadopoulos met multiple times in the following months, including after Trump’s election, as well as on the day of Trump’s inauguration. Papadopoulos has said that Millian at one point offered him $30,000 a month to work on behalf of a Russian energy firm. The catch was that Millian wanted Papadopoulos to work from inside the Trump administration.

Papadopoulos was interviewed by the FBI for the first time on Jan. 27, 2017, just days after Millian was identified. He has said that the FBI initially said they wanted to talk about Millian, but then the conversation turned to other encounters that Papadopoulos had during the campaign.

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