A former-British spy has been named as the man who compiled the dossier containing explosive – but unverified – allegations against Donald Trump.
The allegations say the Russian government has been ‘cultivating, supporting and assisting’ President-elect Donald Trump for years and gained compromising information about him, including lurid sex videos that could be used to blackmail him.
Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, has been identified in reports as the author.
Steele, 52, is a former MI6 officer and one of two directors of Orbis Business Intelligence, according to UK company records, along with Christopher Burrows, 58.
The Telegraph said Steele fled his home in Surrey on Wednesday morning as it became clear his name would become public.
Burrows refused to ‘confirm or deny’ that Orbis had produced the report.
The company describes itself as being able to ‘provide strategic advice, mount intelligence-gathering operations and conduct complex, often cross-border investigations’. Its website says it was founded in 2009 by former British intelligence professionals and utilises a ‘global network’ of experts and ‘prominent business figures’.
FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Trump has denied the allegations while Russia has also said the information in the report is a ‘hoax’.
“It’s all fake news,” Trump said at a Wednesday press conference. “It’s all phony stuff. It didn’t happen.”
Dmitri Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said at a press conference: “The Kremlin has no compromising dossier on Trump, such information isn’t consistent with reality and is nothing but an absolute fantasy,” the New York Times reports.
The 35-page document had been circulating among Washington insiders for months, dating back to before the election. Its release came just ten days before Trump’s inauguration.