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The Senate committee investigating meddling in the 2016 presidential election announced on Wednesday that it had not substantiated some of the claims in the salacious Russian dossier.
Earlier this year, BuzzFeed News published an unverified dossier written by a former British intelligence officer who claimed that Russia tried for several years to cultivate President Donald Trump as a source.
During a Wednesday press conference, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr said that the committee’s attempts to meet and contact the author of the dossier, Christopher Steele, had been rebuffed.
“Unfortunately, the committee has hit a wall,” Burr said, adding: “The committee cannot really decide the credibility of the dossier without understanding who paid for it, who are your sources and subsources.”
The chairman added that the committee had successfully traced some of the information leading to the dossier’s publishing but that “getting past that point has been somewhat impossible.”
“My hope is Mr. Steele will make a decision to meet with either Mark and I or the committee or both,” Burr said, referencing ranking member Sen. Mark Warner.
Few news organizations and investigators have publicly been able to confirm the information in the dossier, which BuzzFeed published because Trump had been briefed on the document by law enforcement and because former President Barack Obama, Sen. John McCain, and others were aware of its existence.
Still, the FBI has reportedly used the dossier in its investigation of top Trump campaign officials.
Watch a clip via CNN:
Sen. Richard Burr: "As it relates to the Steele, dossier, unfortunately the committee has hit a wall" https://t.co/YzPdzFnbNX
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 4, 2017