Former British spy Christopher Steele admitted that he relied on an unverified report on a CNN website for part of the “Trump dossier,” which was used as a basis for the FBI’s investigation into Trump.
Earlier this week, transcripts were released showing that Steele admitted to using an unverified 2009 iReport on CNN’s website. An iReport is where any member of the public can go onto CNN’s site and report information. Steele claims that he had no clue that the CNN report he used was unverified and posted by a random person.
CNN described this iReport section of their website by saying, “iReport.com is a user-generated site. That means the stories submitted by users are not edited, fact-checked, or screened before they post.
The Washington Examiner reported: “In the dossier, Steele, a Cambridge-educated former MI6 officer, wrote about extensive allegations against Donald Trump, associates of his campaign, various Russians and other foreign nationals, and a variety of companies — including one called Webzilla. Those allegations would become part of an FBI investigation and would be used to apply for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.”
It continued: “During his deposition, Steele was pressed on the methods he used to verify allegations made about Webzilla, which was thought to be used by Russia to hack into Democratic emails.”
Steele was asked about anything relating to the allegations made relating to Webzilla which he responded by saying, “We did. It was an article I have got here which was posted on July 28, 2009, on something called CNN iReport.”
When Steele was asked about the process by which he searched for an obtained the information. The ex-British spy described it as “what we could call an open source search,” which he defined as “where you go into the Internet and you access material that is available on the Internet that is of relevance or reference to the issue at hand or the person under consideration.”
Steele also admitted that the unverified dossier contained “raw intelligence” which means the evidence that was collected could be totally false or misleading.