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Steele’s wife, business partner urged him to keep ‘golden showers’ story out of dossier

Former MI6 operative Christopher Steele’s wife and business partner pushed him to keep the most salacious details about Donald Trump‘s time in Moscow out of the memos he was writing for clients. 

Steele was interviewed by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos for a new special, Out of the Shadows, the Man Behind the Steele Dossier, which came out on Hulu Monday. 

‘My view has always been we have to stay true to the intelligence. I’ve seen situations in the past where things have been smoothed off on the edges, where things that might seem a bit outlandish have been left out, so on and so forth, and to me that’s wrong,’ Steele told Stephanopoulos explaining why he believed it was important for the ‘golden showers’ allegations to appear in his report.  

Christopher Steele said in a new documentary that his wife didn’t think he should include the infamous ‘golden showers’ story in his memos to clients as he looked into Russian relations with Donald Trump 

The Ritz-Carlton in Moscow where the 'golden showers' incident occurred if Steele's dossier is to be believed

The Ritz-Carlton in Moscow where the ‘golden showers’ incident occurred if Steele’s dossier is to be believed 

Former President Donald Trump waves as he arrives in Trump Tower in Manhattan on Sunday. Steele's dossier said the 'golden showers' incident happened in 2013 when Trump was visiting Moscow

Former President Donald Trump waves as he arrives in Trump Tower in Manhattan on Sunday. Steele’s dossier said the ‘golden showers’ incident happened in 2013 when Trump was visiting Moscow 

Steele put into what would eventually be dubbed the ‘Steele dossier’ claims he heard from sources that said Trump stayed in the same room former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama stayed in at the Ritz-Carlton Moscow and paid prostitutes to urinate on the bed as a way to defile it during a 2013 visit. 

The Steele dossier said the incident was filmed by Russia’s FSB, the successor to the KGB, so it could be used as ‘kompromat.’  

‘We had a debate obviously about the golden showers thing. I said don’t put that in, it sort of detracts from the key message here, that the Russians have actually been monitoring and cultivating Trump for years,’ Steele’s business partner Chris Burrows shared with ABC News. 

Steele then added, ‘It wasn’t just Chris, I think my wife also thought it shouldn’t be in there.’ 

‘Golden rule for golden showers,’ Burrows continued. ‘You just don’t talk about sex in reports. This is a serious business. We are there to objectively report things. I said “Take out the pee pee tape, please take out the pee pee tape,”‘ Burrows added. 

Steele didn’t. 

Steele said when his sources initially told him about the ‘golden showers’ incident he was ‘surprised and shocked.’ 

‘But, having said that, some of the things we were being told were clearly aspects of well-known Russian m.o. – modus operandi,’ Steele continued. 

Stephanopoulos then asked if sex tapes were ‘standard operating procedure’ as kompromat for the Kremlin. 

‘Correct,’ Steele answered. 

‘We had no reason to disbelieve it, we had no reason strongly to believe it. We had to then try and evaluate it and invalidate it or whatever,’ he said. ‘In an instance like that there were a limited range of things you could do, which we did.’

He said they checked dates and people’s movements and found that Trump was in Moscow at the time. 

‘It meant that for the first time there was a potentially serious situation of kompromat against a presidential candidate,’ Steele added. ‘We immediately decided that we had to report it into the FBI.’

‘We suddenly found ourselves with a hot potato,’ Burrows recounted. 

Steele told Stephanopoulos that he continues to mostly believe that the ‘golden showers’ tape exists.  

‘I think that it probably does, but I wouldn’t put 100 per cent certainty on it,’ he said.

‘So how do you explain if that tape does indeed exist, it hasn’t been released?’ the ABC reporter pushed.

‘Well it hasn’t needed to be released?’

‘Why not?’

‘Because I think the Russians felt they got pretty good value out of Donald Trump when he was president of the U.S.,’ he said.

Steele also told the broadcaster why he believed he didn’t get duped by the Russians. 

Some had suggested that the ‘golden showers’ story was pushed as part of Russian disinformation. 

‘Ultimately any disinformation operation has an objective,’ Steele said. ‘It would have been disinformation about Hillary Clinton. Why would they run a disinformation campaign that was deragatory about the person they preferred to be elected?’ the former Moscow-based spy asked. 

Trump has continuously denied the events – and ironically denied the claim at a Republican donor event just this Thursday.

‘I’m not into golden showers,’ he said unprompted to the crowd, according to The Washington Post.

He also said that his wife and former first lady Melania Trump doesn’t even believe it.

‘You know the great thing, our great first lady – “That one,” she said, “I don’t believe that one,”‘ he said. 

Steele's original dossier was the subject of multiple investigations

Steele’s original dossier was the subject of multiple investigations

Over the course of the special, Steele also said he believed that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.  

‘I think the evidence suggests that, yes,’ Steele said.  

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report found that there wasn’t enough evidence to find that the Trump campaign ‘coordinated or conspired with the Russian government in its election-interference activities.’ 

However, Steele argues that Mueller’s work reinforces his own. 

‘Overall, I think it reinforces it. Because there was a whole scale campaign that it was organized by the leadership in Russia that its aim was to get Donald Trump elected and there was a lot of evidence of contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians, which they didn’t report in and didn’t admit to, in fact lied about,’ Steele argued. 

Steele answered ‘yes potentially’ when asked if Trump – who’s flirting with running for the White House again in 2024 – remained a danger to the United States and the United Kingdom. 

The biggest regret Steele said he had during the whole affair was talking to Mother Jones about the contents of the dossier, which led to the FBI cutting off ties with him and his name eventually coming out. 

‘I regret having done so. Ultimately, that led to a whole series of events that bring me to this chair today, George,’ the told Stephanopoulos. 

Once BuzzFeed published the dossier he said he and his wife realized ‘we probably would have to go into hiding for a period.’ 

‘It had felt like a ticking time bomb sinece we did the first memo,’ Steele said.   

Stephanopoulos also asked if the former British intelligence official ‘accepts’ the FBI findings that Cohen did not meet with Kremlin officials in Prague – like the Steele Dossier claims.

Steele replied: ‘No, I don’t.’

‘Michael Cohen has completely turned on Donald Trump. He’s accused him of all kinds of things, he’s gone to jail. It defies logic that if he did this he wouldn’t say so now?’ the ABC reporter questioned.

Michael Cohen has turned on Trump and went to prison. He has not, however, changed the story on not meeting with Kremlin officials in Prague

Michael Cohen has turned on Trump and went to prison. He has not, however, changed the story on not meeting with Kremlin officials in Prague

‘I don’t agree with that,’ Steele shot back, adding ‘it’s self incriminating to a very great degree.’

‘Since he’s gone to prison, since he’s turned on President Trump he’s told every single story. Why wouldn’t he admit to this?’ Stepheanpoulos pushed.

‘Because I think it’s so incriminating and demeaning and the other reason is he might be scared of the consequences,’ Steele said.

When pressed to answer whether he felt not bowing to that ‘hurts your credibility,’ Steele defended his dossier.

‘I’m prepared to accept that not everything in the dossier is 100 per cent accurate,’ he said. I have yet to be convinced that that is one of them.’

While testifying before the House Oversight Committee on February 27, 2019, Cohen said: ‘I’ve never been to Prague. I’ve never been to the Czech Republic.’

Later an FBI probe confirmed that claim.

‘So you stand by the dossier,’ Stephanopoulos probed Steele.

‘I stand by the work we did, the sources that we had, and the professionalism in which we applied to it,’ he said.

The ABC News special, formatted like a documentary, notes that Steele collected information about the salacious golden showers tape from people who merely heard about it or talked about it as a joke.

Stephanopoulos noted to Steele of his sources for the dossier: ‘One of your main collectors who spoke to the inspector general said that especially the kompromat was ‘word of mouth and hearsay,’ ‘conversations with friends over beers,’ ‘it was just talk.’

Kompromat refers to blackmail material.

‘If you have a confidential source and that confidential source is blown or uncovered, that confidential source will often take fright and try to downplay and underestimate what they said or done. And I think that’s probably what happened here,’ Steele responded.

‘He’s afraid?’ Stephanopoulos asked.

‘I think anyone named in this contact, particularly if they’re Russian, has every reason to be afraid.’

Asked if anything happened to his sources Steele answered, ‘yes, but I can’t really go there, I’m afraid.’ 

Stephanopoulos then asked if the source was still alive. 

‘Yes,’ Steele answered.      

Christopher Steele: The British ex-spy who authored the ‘dirty dossier’

Christopher Steele, embarked on a well-trodden path when he was recruited from Cambridge straight into MI6.

After a stint in London, he was stationed in Moscow just after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

He returned to London and in 2006 was made head of MI6’s Russia desk, where he led the investigation into the poisoning of former Russian operative Alexander Litvinenko.

But he only became world-renowned after becoming a private intelligence consultant and writing the sensational Trump-Russia dossier in 2016.

His evidence was rubbished by Trump, but formed part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

In an interview at Oxford University, Mr Steele said he had been questioned for ‘two whole days’ but was disappointed with Mueller’s final report.

‘I was surprised that very little of what I had discussed with them appeared in the final report.

He criticized the report for being ‘too narrow’ and failing to follow up on crucial evidence. 

‘There were many things about the report that were good… but other (aspects) that were not so good,’ he said. 

Mr Steele said the fact that ‘a number of witnesses—including for instance, Donald Trump Jr.’ had avoided being interviewed ‘wasn’t great.’ 

Dismissing longstanding allegations of political bias, he described himself as simply ‘an opponent of President Putin.’

He said that Trump is naturally hostile toward the intelligence community. 

‘Trump himself doesn’t like intelligence because its ground truth is inconvenient for him,’ he said.   


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