Clapper on dossier: 'Doesn't matter who paid for it'

Clapper on dossier: 'Doesn't matter who paid for it'
Posted at 6:49 AM, Oct 26, 2017

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Wednesday disputed President Donald Trump's characterization of the now-infamous dossier of allegations about the President and Russia.

When asked on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" about Trump calling the document a "fake" dossier, Clapper responded, "I don't think that is an accurate characterization for the entirety of the dossier."

The dossier helped fuel the ongoing investigations into Russia's efforts to influence last year's election and allegations of collusion by Trump associates, including the special counsel probe led by Former FBI Director Robert Mueller.



CNN reported in February that investigators had been able to corroborate some information in the dossier, although not the most salacious allegations.

The law firm that represented the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee this week acknowledgedits clients' role in paying for opposition research on Trump that helped fund the dossier.

The law firm Perkins Coie, as part of its representation of the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained the intelligence firm Fusion GPS starting in April 2016.

A letter to Fusion GPS, which was written by Perkins Coie general counsel Matthew Gehringer, notes that it is revealing its role in hiring Fusion to aid the firm in its fight not to be forced to reveal its confidential list of clients.

Fusion GPS is fighting a legal battle to prevent Fusion's bank from providing the House intelligence committee records that the panel subpoenaed. The letter was filed with the court on Tuesday.

Trump told reporters on Wednesday that the campaign and DNC's involvement with the dossier was a "very sad commentary on politics in this country."

CNN has previously reported the Fusion efforts researching Trump were first funded by Republican foes of Trump, and Democrats began paying the research firm later on, after Trump became the presumptive nominee. The identity of the Republican client or clients has not yet been publicly revealed.

"When we did our intelligence committee assessment, we were aware that there had been research done and that some Republican candidates, as a matter of fact, had contracted through I think Fusion GPS to obtain what later became what's known as the dossier," Clapper said Wednesday.

He added: "The key thing is, doesn't matter who paid for it. It's what the dossier said and the extent to which it was corroborated or not."

The Washington Post was first to report news of the Clinton campaign and DNC's involvement with the dossier, and a source familiar with the matter confirmed the Post's reporting to CNN on Tuesday.

The US intelligence community asserted in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an effort to disrupt the US presidential election.

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