The former British spy who compiled the unverified dossier on Donald Trump got so concerned by what he was learning about the President-elect that he worked without pay for months, according to a report.
Christopher Steele, a respected ex-MI6 agent, rocked the geopolitical landscape when a 35-page document he’d written on Trump’s alleged ties to the Kremlin was published in full earlier this week.
The document, which cannot be corroborated by the Daily News, contains salacious claims that Russian operatives collected damaging and sexually explicit information on Trump in order to blackmail him into obedience.
Initially, Steele was working on behalf of Trump’s Republican opponents and later for Democrats, but after Election Day, those employers were no longer interested. Instead, Steele began disseminating his findings to both British and American intelligence officials pro bono, as he reasoned that this matter was of national security concern for both parties, security sources told The Independent on Saturday.
Steele grew frustrated over the U.S. intelligence community’s apparent lack of action, and suspected that there was somebody on the inside blocking a thorough inquiry into Trump’s record, instead focusing on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, sources said.
Glenn Simpson, a former investigative reporter with the Wall Street Journal, reportedly felt the same way about Steele’s findings and joined him in his unprofitable crusade, according to people familiar with the matter.
Simpson — who runs the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS — was contracted by some of Trump’s Republican opponents in September 2015 and sources said he and Steele began working together last July.
In October, a disheartened Steele spoke to the Washington editor of Mother Jones about his findings, temporarily sparking a thread of public interest that quickly subsided.
After the election, Steele and Simpson doubled down on their efforts, hoping that the U.S. intelligence community’s consensus on Russia having interfered in the 2016 election would prompt further interest in their findings.
It was at that point that Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Moscow, spoke with Arizona Sen. John McCain at a security conference in Canada. Wood told McCain about the dossier, which concerned the longtime senator to the point that he alerted the FBI about it immediately.
Trump and President Obama were subsequently briefed on the dossier’s content as part of a larger intelligence report on Russia’s alleged interference in the election. The President-elect kept mum about it until the damning document was published in full, and has since denounced it as “fake news.”
Simpson’s current whereabouts were not immediately known and he did not return a request for comment from the Daily News.
Steele, meanwhile, has reportedly gone into hiding, telling British media outlets earlier this week that he is “terrified for his safety.”