CNN- Former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, the man behind the “Steele Dossier” that claimed Russian officials held compromising information on former President Donald Trump, defended the claims made in the dossier in his first on-camera interview since it was revealed in 2017.
In a clip from an upcoming ABC News documentary released Sunday, Steele said he decided to sit down for an interview now because he wanted to “set the record straight” about his role in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
ABC released a portion of the documentary featuring parts of Steele’s interview on Sunday, with the full documentary slated to be released on Hulu early Monday morning.
“Most of the world first heard your name about five years ago, but you stayed silent up until now. Why speak out now?” host George Stephanopoulos asked.
“I think the first and most important (reason) is that the problems we identified back in 2016 haven’t gone away, and arguably have actually got worse, and I thought it was important to come and set the record straight,” Steele said.
Steele’s unverified dossier became one of the most controversial aspects of the FBI’s investigation into Trump and Russia that led to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Many of the claims, such as the so-called “pee tape,” were never proven, despite the FBI’s efforts to verify salacious allegations and years of congressional investigators looking into the claims involving the former president and Russia.
Mueller’s report also concluded that another allegation Steele made — that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen traveled to Prague in 2016 to meet with Russian officials — was untrue