Donald Trump’s new enemy Senator John McCain admitted on Wednesday that he gave the dossier of claims of a Russian blackmail plot against Trump to the FBI.
McCain issued a public statement amid mounting questions of his exact role in the affair, and said:
“Late last year, I received sensitive information that has since been made public. 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.”
The chain of how the document reached the FBI is not officially known.
However Carl Bernstein, the Watergate reporter who contributed to the first story about its existence, published by CNN on Tuesday afternoon, 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.