While hardly surprising considering the copious amounts of bad blood between the President elect and John McCain, earlier today the Arizona senator confirmed that he passed along the 35-page report to the FBI that details unverified allegations that President-elect Trump’s team coordinated with the Russian government to defeat Hillary Clinton.
In a statement released Wednesday, McCain said passing the report along was the extent of his involvement in the process.
“Late last year, I received sensitive information that has since been made public,” McCain said. “Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgment about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the director of the FBI. That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue.”
As The Washington Examiner notes, reports surfaced Tuesday night that a foreign contact of McCain’s passed along the report detailing alleged compromising information the Russian government has on Trump. That report was published in full by Buzzfeed Tuesday evening, despite being unverified information.
As the Mail adds, Carl Bernstein, the Watergate reporter who contributed to the first story about its existence, suggested that McCain was handed it by a former British ambassador to Moscow.
Bernstein told CNN: ‘It came from a former British MI6 agent who was hired from a political opposition research firm in Washington who was doing work about Donald Trump for both republican and democratic candidates opposed to Trump.
‘They were looking at Trumps business ties, they saw some questionable things about Russians, about his businesses in Russia, they in turn hired this MI6 former investigator, he then came up with additional information from his Russian sources, he was very concerned by the implications of it, he then took it to an FBI colleague that he had known in his undercover work for years, he took it to this FBI man in Rome who turned it over to the bureau in Washington in August.
‘And then, a former British ambassador to Russia independently was made aware of these findings and he took the information to John McCain – Senator John McCain of Arizona – in the period just after the election, and showed it to McCain – additional findings.
‘McCain was sufficiently disturbed by what he read to take it to FBI director James Comey himself personally, they had a five minute meeting the two men, very little was said, McCain turned it over to him and is now awaiting what the FBI’s response is to that information.’
The identity of the former British ambassador has not been disclosed, however, only one former British ambassador to Washington remains in UK government service, Sir Tim Barrow, who went on to be Foreign Office political director and is now Britain’s ambassador to the European Union. The Arizona senator said at the time: ‘”Donald Trump’s behavior… concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy.’
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McCain’s statement comes on the heels of reports that President Barack Obama, Trump and congressional leaders were briefed on the allegations made in the dossier. The two-page summary is based on a collection memos created by political opponents of Trump during his presidential campaign, alleging that the Russians had compromising information on Trump. The memos were purportedly compiled by a former British intelligence official.
The Trump camp pushed back hard against the report Wednesday, calling it “offensive crap” and Trump himself went on Twitter to deny any coordination with the Russian government
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