The author of the Trump-Russia dossier said he has been friendly with Ivanka Trump for years and was 'favorably disposed' to the family, calling bias accusations 'ridiculous'

gpanetta@businessinsider.com (Grace Panetta)
Ivanka Trump, the daughter and senior adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, is interviewed by the Associated Press, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, in Rabat, Morocco. Trump is in Morocco promoting a global economic program for women. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Associated Press

  • Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent and the author of the now-infamous Steele Dossier, was friendly with Ivanka Trump for years and was "favorably disposed" toward the Trump family because of it. 
  • The Department of Justice's inspector general report on the origins of the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, released Monday, summarized the inspector general's interviews with Steele.
  • The report said Steele told agents that "if anything he was "favorably disposed" toward the Trump family before he began his research because he had visited a Trump family member at Trump Tower."
  • Shortly after the report dropped, ABC News reported that the family member referenced was Ivanka, Trump's eldest daughter, and an unpaid White House advisor. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent and the author of the now-infamous Steele Dossier, was friendly with Ivanka Trump for years and said he was "favorably disposed" toward the Trump family because of it. 

The Department of Justice's inspector general report on the origins of the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, released Monday, summarized the inspector general's interviews with Steele, who prepared a dossier of opposition research on Trump in 2016 for the firm Fusion GPS.

For years, President Donald Trump and Republicans have railed against Steele and Fusion GPS for coming up with a biased, unsubstantiated dossier on Trump that they falsely claim sparked the FBI's Russia investigation in the first place. 

Not only did the Inspector General report conclusively refute the notion that the dossier was the impetus for the investigation on the Trump campaign's contacts with Russia, but Steele himself cited his acquaintance with an unnamed Trump family member as a reason why his dossier was not at all motivated by anti-Trump bias. 

The report specifically said on page 94:

"Steele called the allegation that he was biased against Trump from the start "ridiculous."He stated that if anything he was "favorably disposed" toward the Trump family before he began his research because he had visited a Trump family member at Trump Tower and "been friendly" with [the family member] for some years. He described their relationship as "personal" and said that he once gifted a family tartan from Scotland to the family member."

Shortly after the report dropped, ABC News confirmed that the family member referenced was Ivanka, Trump's eldest daughter, who currently works as a White House advisor. 

According to emails reviewed by ABC News, Ivanka and Steele initially met at a business dinner in 2007, and exchanged emails about meeting at Trump Tower and having dinner together in New York City in 2008.

In 2010, Trump and Steele reportedly discussed the possibility of working together on business matters when Steele left the British intelligence service M16 and co-founded the private corporate consultancy firm Orbis Business Intelligence along with Christopher Burrows. 

Steele and Ivanka discussed Orbis potentially consulting with the Trump Organization, where Ivanka served as an executive vice president for acquisitions, "regarding its planned expansion into foreign markets," ABC said citing sources familiar with the matter. 

Read the original article on Business Insider