Former MI6 agent Christopher Steele is appearing in his first televised interview since he was named as the source of the explosive — and since discredited — dossier about former President Donald Trump and his alleged activity in Russia, which was later found to have been used as the basis for the “collusion” investigation.
On Monday, Steele will be seen speaking with “Good Morning America” host George Stephanopoulos in a pre-recorded interview for a new documentary series launched by the ABC host. Monday’s episode is titled “Out of the Shadows,” appearing to reference how the former spy went into hiding when his “findings” were discredited following their release.
The network has touted the interview as Steele’s “first television interview ever,” and Stephanolopous revealed the interview will cover “all the ground.”
“He has been silent since that broke across the world five years ago…,” he said, referencing the dossier. “He spoke up for the first time for this documentary.”
In 2016, Steele wrote a controversial report about Trump’s alleged links to Russia during the 2016 campaign, claiming there was collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Both parties denied the allegations and Trump has lambasted the former spy.
“This man should be extradited, tried and thrown into jail,” Trump said of Steele in a tweet in July 2020. “A sick lier [sic] who was paid by Crooked Hillary and the DNC!”
Among his accusations, published in January 2017, Steele claimed Trump frolicked among peeing prostitutes in the presidential suite of Moscow’s Ritz Carlton, alleging Russian’s intelligence services had video of the incident.
While the claims attracted massive attention to the newly elected president, many were later debunked as they had been based solely on hearsay — buy not before the dossier triggered the Russian “collusion” investigation.
For his snooping — specifically into Trump — Steele was contracted by Fusion GPS, a DC-based intelligence company that was later discovered to have been funded by Hillary Clinton.
In 2020, Steele was ordered by a British court to pay $23,000 in damages to two Russian businessmen who he had claimed paid bribes to Putin in the 1990s.
Shortly after, FBI documents came to light showing agency leadership knew early on that the dossier they used to pursue an investigation of Trump did not hold up to scrutiny.
According to the papers, released by the Senate Judiciary Committee, disgraced agent Peter Strzok and his bosses were aware in January 2017 that the “Steele dossier” produced by a former MI6 agent was based only on rumors and third-hand accounts.
While he hasn’t spoken about his fallacious work in interviews, Steele has defended the dossier since it was released.
In March 2020, he spoke at a private Oxford Union meeting where he defended his work, saying, “I stand by the integrity of our work, our sources and what we did.”