A Washington D.C.-based correspondent for the BBC has asserted that four separate intelligence sources are confident that the unverified dossier alleging that Russian intelligence holds compromising information on President-elect Donald Trump has merit.
On Jan. 12, BBC correspondent Paul Wood offered up the results of his investigation into the allegations that the Russian government could potentially blackmail Trump with damaging intel.
On Jan. 10, CNN reported that both President Barack Obama and Trump had been informed by the U.S. intelligence community that there was unverified intelligence alleging that Russia had compromising intel on the president-elect. Later that day, Buzzfeed News published the dossier.
The unverified report included explosive allegations that the Russian government had been "cultivating, supporting and assisting" Trump for several years. In addition, the dossier cited unconfirmed sources asserting that Russia held compromising information about Trump's finances and personal activities.
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In his report, Wood asserted that he had seen the dossier before the presidential election but that his outlet had declined to report on it because its contents could not be verified.
The reporter went on to say that in his investigation into the alleged ties between Trump and Russia, he discovered that four separate intelligence sources took the contents of the dossier seriously.
"Claims about a Russian blackmail tape were made in one of a series of reports written by a former British intelligence agent, understood to be Christopher Steele," Wood wrote. "As a member of MI6, he had been posted to the UK's embassy in Moscow and now runs a consultancy giving advice on doing business in Russia."
Steele, the first source listed by Wood and the alleged originator of the dossier, vacated his home in London on Jan. 11. The veteran MI6 agent reportedly fears that he will be targeted by the Russian government in retaliation for the dossier, Business Insider reports.
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Wood asserted that Steele was not the only source that believed Trump had been compromised by the Russian government.
"Back in August, a retired spy told me he had been informed of its existence by 'the head of an East European intelligence agency,'" Wood continued.
The BBC reporter added that he had indirect communication with several active duty CIA officers who were investigating the matter. He asserted that in his correspondence, his sources within the CIA told him "there was 'more than one tape', 'audio and video', on 'more than one date', in 'more than one place'… and that the material was 'of a sexual nature.'"
Lastly, Wood asserted that he had learned from another source that CIA Director John Brennan had became aware in April 2015 of cn alleged tape recording of the Kremlin transferring funds to the Trump campaign.
"It was passed to the U.S. by an intelligence agency of one of the Baltic states," Wood wrote.
All in all, Wood asserts that at least some of the allegations in the unverified dossier have been corroborated by Steele, an East European intelligence agency, active-duty officers in the CIA, and an unidentified intelligence agency from the Baltic states.
The dossier remains unverified and Trump has vehemently denied the contents of the report.
On Jan. 11, Trump blasted the news outlets that reported on the dossier during his first press conference as president-elect.
"A thing like that should have never been written … and certainly should never have been released," Trump said, according to NBC News.