Last Updated on November 17, 2021
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that he does not regret pushing to investigate claims in the now thoroughly discredited Steele dossier. The dossier, which was compiled by former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, alleged that the Russian government held compromising information on President Trump.
“As Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, do you regret giving some credibility to the Steele dossier before anybody had been able to verify anything in that?” Schiff was asked by Chuck Todd of Meet The Press.
“I don’t regret saying that we should investigate claims of someone who, frankly, was a well-respected British intelligence officer,” Schiff answered. Schiff was instrumental in orchestrating the Russian collusion investigations due to his role as House Intelligence Committee chair.
“And in fact, the Trump campaign chairman was giving internal campaign polling data to Russian intelligence while Russian intelligence was trying to help elect Donald Trump. So, the top line there of Russian help and Trump willingness to accept it and make use of it proved all too accurate,” he went on to say.
CHUCK TODD: "Do you regret giving credibility to the Steele dossier?"
ADAM SCHIFF: "I don't" pic.twitter.com/FdCZCoQ4Gq
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 14, 2021
The Steele dossier was never verified before being widely circulated by corporate media outlets. The document alleged, among other things, that that Trump had urinated on Russian prostitutes in a hotel room the where the Obama family stayed.
Though the Steele dossier has been debunked for quite some time, recent indictments have caused some media outlets to issue retractions. Earlier this month, The Washington Post corrected and removed large segments of their own reporting on the subject, admitting it “could no longer stand by the accuracy” of those elements. The retraction was issued a day after Russia-born Igor Danchenko and the public release of his indictment, which detailed a series of lies and fabrications throughout the compiling of the Steele dossier.
Danchenko, the primary researcher of the document, was charged with five counts of making false statements to the FBI. The Russian was employed by by Steele’s firm, Orbis Business International, and was tasked with compiling information on former President Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with the Russian government in 2016. He had previously been probed by Barrack Obama’s DOJ under suspicion of being a Russian spy.
Danchenko told the FBI that he had no contact with a “long-time participant in Democratic Party politics,”, according to the indictment. He also made false statements regarding a phone call and potential meeting with a U.S. citizen having knowledge about “conspiracy of cooperation” between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
Intelligence experts have opined that the Steele dossier contains classic Russian disinformation tactics designed to sow discord in the United States. It is likely that Steele, along with Clinton officials hungry for an attack angle, were duped by Russian intelligence agencies.
Despite the recent revelations, Schiff said he still believes in the integrity of the document on Meet The Press. “You know, this Danchenko lied to Christopher Steele and then lied to the FBI. He should be prosecuted,” Schiff said. And I’ll tell you this, if he’s convicted, he should not be pardoned the way Donald Trump pardoned people who lied to FBI agents, like Roger Stone and Mike Flynn,” he added. Schiff is now a member of the partisan January 6th committee.