In the new book, “Collusion: Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win,” author and writer for The Guardian, Luke Harding, examines the relationship between President Donald Trump and Russia.
Harding’s latest work is not his first attempt to reveal the misdeeds of Russia. Until being expelled from Russia in 2011, Harding served as the Moscow bureau chief for the Guardian. A keen insightful tale of the relationship between Harding and Russia can be found in his Harding’s article Enemy of the State: How Luke Harding became the reporter Russia hated.
As for Harding’s new book, the sales pitch claims it is:
“An explosive exposé that lays out the Trump administration’s ties to Moscow, and Russia’s decades-in-the-making political game to upend American democracy.”
As part of the research for this new “explosive exposé,” Luke Harding interviewed, the man behind the Trump/Russia dossier, Christopher Steele. It has recently disclosed that Steele estimates the dossier is 70-90% accurate. To declare such high-level accuracy of intelligence data is even more impressive when one considers that Steele did not pay his Russia sources.
If Steele had used paid informants, they would have an economic incentive to provide him information. Even worse, they would be likely inclined to provide disinformation that sounds great, but impossible to verify, in hopes of collecting bigly paychecks. However, it is noted that Steele is an established professional who has spent years developing his human intelligence (HUMINT) sources.
In many ways, Mr. Steele remains President Trump’s biggest nemesis. Think of Mr. Steele as the ‘Man of Steel’ to the Lex Luther’esque Trump regime. Trump’s administration along with his Congressional supporters know the danger Steele presents, so they have made it a point to launch an attack against the dossier by linking it to, you know, Hillary Clinton. Regardless of one’s opinion toward ‘Hot Sauce’ Hillary, one can not simply dismiss the Man of Steele, Christopher Steele.
Although it is commonly known that Christopher Steele had a long tenure with British intelligence, how good is he? When it comes to Russia, Mr. Steele can be readily viewed as a premier expert on understanding the Kremlin motivations, methods, and actions to further their agenda. Moreover, his reputation is deemed as “very credible” among the British, international, and American intelligence community.
For instance, in 2006, when a former KGB/FSB spy from Russia, Alexander Litvinenko, was poisoned and died in London, when the then chief, Sir John Scarlett, needed a trusted senior officer to plot a way through the minefield ahead he turned to Christopher Steele. Additionally, as reported:
“It was Steele, sources say, who correctly and quickly realised Litvinenko’s death was a Russian state ‘hit.’ “
That’s right, Mr. Steele would quickly lead the investigation that determined Mr. Litvinenko was murdered. Ultimately, the investigation and subsequent inquiry would conclude that the 2006 murder of Alexander Litvinenko was “probably” approved by President Vladimir Putin.
In 2009, after leaving his official position within the British intelligence agency, Christopher Steele would continue his craft through establishing his own investigative firm. Later in 2009, Mr. Steele’s new agency would be hired to investigate corruption within the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). In 2010, Steele would deliver reports to the FBI that would incriminate FIFA officials and result in the removal of the FIFA president.
From 2014-2016, Steele would produce more than a hundred reports on Russia and Ukraine, which as note were “shared widely” to U.S. officials. These reports were also used by government officials responsible for countering the “annexation of Crimea and the covert invasion of eastern Ukraine.”
Furthermore, it is well-established that Steele had spent years developing and cultivating relationships as a means to acquire intelligence information. As a result, numerous intelligence sources quoted by Steele in the Trump dossier are the same sources he had previously used throughout his years. Thus, Steele would have a degree of certainty on the accuracy of his sources as it pertains to the claims against Trump and his campaign. This could also help explain Steele’s confidence that seventy to ninety percent of the 35-page dossier is true.
Despite the author’s admittance that his reports are not one-hundred percent accurate, a follow-up article shall show why Mr. Steele (and his research) remains a true source of concern to both Trump and his cohorts.