In Brief

Hillary Clinton campaign ‘helped fund Trump dossier’

White House says allegations around infamous intelligence file 'is real Russia scandal'

Hillary Clinton and the and the Democratic National Committee stumped up some of the money that paid for the infamous dossier of allegations about Donald Trump’s links to Russia, insider sources have claimed.

According to The Washington Post, “people familiar with the matter” claim Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

 It was Fusion GPS that hired former British intelligence office Christopher Steele, the man at the centre of the scandal who wrote the report.

Although the report was given to Elias, “it is unclear how or how much of that information was shared with the campaign and the DNC and who in those organizations was aware of the roles of Fusion GPS and Steele”, says the Post.

CNN previously reported Fusion GPS’s anti-Trump research was initially funded by anti-Trump Republicans during the GOP primaries, and Democrats began paying the research firm later on, after Trump became the presumptive nominee.

Those involved with the Clinton campaign, including former Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon and the Democrats' communications director Xochitl Hinojosa, stressed they were not aware of the connection between the dossier and the campaign but this has not stopped the White House from seizing on the revelations:

Trump has frequently rejected any allegation that he or his campaign colluded with the Kremlin, and the President “has specifically singled out the dossier as an example of what he calls a larger smear campaign”, says The Independent.

It is understood that some of Steele’s allegations concerning possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, as well as certain salacious details of potential blackmail opportunities, began circulating in Washington in the summer of 2016. It is around this time that the former MI6 operative shared his findings with the FBI, which had begun its own investigation into links between Trump and Russia.

However, the findings could not be verified, and were not published until after Trump had been sworn-in in January, when Buzzfeed leaked the report.

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