- Fusion GPS boss Glenn Simpson told a Senate committee in 2017 about a conversation he'd had with British ex-spy Christopher Steele
- Steele, hired by Simpson's firm to compile the 'dirty dossier' of anti-Trump research, said he was in contact with the FBI in Rome
- His agent friend, said Steele, said the Bureau had a human intelligence source inside Donald Trump's presidential campaign organization
- ' If so, this is bigger than Watergate!' Trump tweeted on Thursday
By Francesca Chambers, White House Correspondent For Dailymail.com
Published: 09:00 EDT, 17 May 2018 | Updated: 12:14 EDT, 17 May 2018
The claim by the head of the opposition research firm behind the infamous 'dirty dossier' that the FBI had a mole inside the Trump campaign is 'bigger than Watergate' the president said on Thursday.
Trump allowed in a tweet that the bombshell revelation by Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson may not be accurate. If true, though, he said, it would be the biggest political scandal in modern American history.
'Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI “SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EMBEDDED INFORMANT.” Andrew McCarthy says, “There’s probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.” If so, this is bigger than Watergate!' Trump tweeted.
The claim by the leader of the opposition research firm behind the infamous anti-Trump 'dirty dossier' that the FBI had a mole inside the Trump campaign is 'bigger than Watergate' the president said Thursday
Trump allowed in a tweet that the claim may not be accurate, if true, though, he said, it would be the biggest political scandal in modern American history
The FBI was at the time run by James Comey, the now decidedly anti-Trump former official who has unleashed scathing criticism of Trump in his memoir.
Simpson's testimony was among the disclosures in Wednesday's Senate Judiciary Committee release of transcripts from its investigation into the unverified collection of dirt funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
In August 2017 Simpson told committee members and staff that former British spy Christopher Steele – whom he had hired to probe Trump's potential Russia ties – told him about a meeting in Rome with an FBI agent he knew.
'Essentially what he told me was they [the FBI] had other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source,' Simpson recalled.
Fusion GPS boss Glenn Simpson told a Senate committee in 2017 about a conversation he'd had with British ex-spy Christopher Steele
Steele, hired by Simpson's firm to compile the 'dirty dossier' of anti-Trump research, said he was in contact with the FBI in Rome – who told him they had a human intelligence source inside the Trump campaign
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Judiciary Committee's top Democrat (right) released Simpson's interview transcript in January
Despite reporting that Steele had misspoken, Simpson's lawyer confirmed to the Senate that he 'stands by his testimony'
He said the Bureau 'believed Chris's information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing, and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization.'
Simpson moments later said the mole in Trumpworld 'was a voluntary source, someone who was concerned about the same concerns we had. It was someone like us who decided to pick up the phone and report something.'
The opposition researcher's words were first made public in January when California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein released a transcript of Simpson's interview.
Feinstein drew howls from Republicans for unsealing the record without consulting with them first.
President Trump called her 'Sneaky Dianne Feinstein' and blamed her for releasing the testimony 'in such an underhanded and possibly illegal way, totally without authorization.'
James Comey was director of the FBI during the entirety of Trump's presidential campaign, leading the Bureau during the time Simpson says it had a mole inside it
Trump has called the swirl of investigations surrounding his alleged but unproven Russia ties a 'witch hunt'
Trump said in morning tweet that Feinstein may have broken the law when she made the transcript public yesterday, bucking Republican leadership
Simpson's testimony transcript includes this section where he described his conversation with his contractor Christopher Steele about his interactions with the FBI
Simpson said Steele gave him the impression that the FBI's source in Trumpworld was 'voluntary' in nature
A flurry of reporting ensued, with partisans leaking claims to NBC News and other outlets that Simpson had misspoken – that the FBI didn't have a human intelligence source inside the Trump campaign.
Two days later, Committee chairman Chuck Grassley wrote to Simpson's lawyer Joshua Levy for clarification.
Levy responded to the Iowa Republican senator: 'I am writing in response to your letter, dated January 11, 2018, in which you have asked about the August 22, 2017 testimony from our client Glenn Simpson that Christopher Steele in the fall of 2016 said he believed the FBI had another source within the Trump organization/campaign.'
'Mr. Simpson stands by his testimony.'
Most of the rest material released Wednesday concerns a now-infamous 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr., a British music publicist and a Russian lawyer who the future president's son believed had opposition research about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.