US senator releases transcript of interview with Trump dossier firm co-founder
A senior US politician has released a transcript from an interview with the co-founder of the firm that commissioned a dossier of allegations about President Donald Trump's ties to Russia.
The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, C alifornia Senator Dianne Feinstein released the transcript from an August closed-door committee interview with Glenn Simpson after the Republican chairman of the committee, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, declined to.
Mr Simpson's firm Fusion GPS commissioned the dossier, which was initially paid for by a conservative website and later by Democrats.
The dossier was written by former British MI6 agent Christopher Steele.
Mr Trump has derided the dossier as politically motivated, and several Republican-led committees are investigating whether it formed the basis for the FBI's initial investigation into Russian election interference.
Democrats say those investigations are a distraction.
Mr Simpson said Mr Steele took it to the FBI in July 2016, and that his concern was "whether or not there was blackmail going on, whether a political candidate was being blackmailed or had been compromised".
Mr Simpson has denied that the dossier prompted the FBI's initial investigations.
According to the transcript, he told investigators that the FBI informed Mr Steele that the government had intelligence from "an internal Trump campaign source". Mr Simpson would not name the source.
The dossier is a compilation of memos written by Mr Steele during the 2016 campaign that contained allegations of connections between Mr Trump and Russia, including that Mr Trump had been compromised by the Kremlin.