President Donald Trump has blasted the FBI and a controversial dossier that alleged ties between him and Russia, asserting that the document was fake. The president cited a morning talk show.
On Dec. 26, Trump took to social media to criticize the federal investigation into his 2016 campaign. The president signaled that his tweet was prompted by a segment on Fox News' morning talk show "Fox & Friends," Axios reports.
"WOW, [Fox and Friend] 'Dossier is bogus,'" Trump tweeted. "'Clinton Campaign, DNC funded Dossier. FBI CANNOT (after all of this time) VERIFY CLAIMS IN DOSSIER OF RUSSIA/TRUMP COLLUSION. FBI Tainted.'"
The president added, "And they used this Crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Trump Campaign!"
Trump appeared to reference an interview between the "Fox & Friends" panel and former Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, who is now a political pundit for the channel.
Chaffetz stated: "The dossier we have long known is bogus. The question is, how was it funded?"
On Jan. 11, BuzzFeed News obtained and published a dossier compiled by retired British intelligence officer Christopher Steele during the 2016 presidential race. Steele's research alleged the Russian government had compromising leverage over Trump and that the Trump campaign had colluded with the Russian effort to undermine the Clinton campaign.
The dossier also alleged that Trump had hired prostitutes to soil a bed once occupied by former President Barack Obama at a hotel in Moscow and that the Russian government held a video recording of the incident.
The Trump administration and GOP lawmakers have criticized the veracity of the Steele dossier, asserting that it was compiled on behalf of the Clinton campaign and used by the FBI to investigate the Trump campaign.
During the Republican primary in 2015, research firm Fusion GPS was hired by the the conservative website the Washington Free Beacon to investigate Trump. Fusion GPS was subsequently hired by the Clinton campaign to continue its opposition research into Trump. The firm then tapped Steele to look into the then-candidate's contacts with Russia, according to The New York Times.
Two sources close to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asserted that she had been unaware of Steele's dossier until January 2017 and that she was disappointed that the document's allegations against Trump were not published before the 2016 election.
Following Trump's election, GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona reportedly informed the FBI of the Steele dossier. Both Trump and Obama were briefed on the document's allegations in December 2016.
The Steele dossier has not been publicly corroborated but its contents are being investigated by several congressional panels and special counsel Robert Mueller.
On Dec. 14, retired head of British intelligence service MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, who had worked with Steele in the 1990s, signaled that he had confidence in the retired intelligence officer's research.
"I think that there is probably some credibility to the content," Dearlove told the BBC. "I wouldn't put it any more forcefully than that."