Former Trump Admin Spokesperson Confronts Schiff over Steele Dossier
Former State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus confronted Representative Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) over his past promotion of the Steele dossier, when Schiff made an appearance on ABC’s The View on Wednesday.
Pressed by #TheView guest co-host @MorganOrtagus on the Steele dossier, @RepAdamSchiff responds: “It’s one thing to say allegations should be investigated…it’s another to say we should have foreseen in advance that some people were lying to Christopher Steele.” pic.twitter.com/8EgvKW0tgJ
— The View (@TheView) November 9, 2021
“You defended, promoted, you even read into the Congressional record the Steele dossier,” Ortagus told Schiff, who is the head of the House Intelligence Committee. “The main source of the Steele dossier was indicted for lying to the FBI most of the key claims in that dossier. Do you have any reflections on your role in promoting this to the American people?”
Schiff responded, “First of all, whoever lied to the FBI or lied to Christopher Steele should be prosecuted, and they are.” However, Schiff said “we couldn’t have known” that someone may have lied to Steele when he compiled the dossier.
“At the beginning of the Russia investigation, I said that any allegations should be investigated. We couldn’t have known, for example, that people were lying to Christopher Steele,” Schiff said.
“None of [President Trump’s] serious misconduct is undercut or diminished by the fact that people lied to Christopher Steele,” Schiff added.
“No, I just think your credibility is,” Ortagus responded.
At a March 2017 Congressional hearing on Russian actions during the 2016 election, Schiff drew on parts of the Steele dossier for his opening statement. The dossier, compiled by former British agent Christopher Steele, contained unproven allegations that hinted the Donald Trump presidential campaign was working with Russia to defeat then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Schiff noted in his statement that Steele “is reportedly held in high regard by U.S. Intelligence.”
A primary contributor to the Steele dossier, Igor Danchenko, was arrested last Thursday by federal authorities. Danchenko was accused of lying to the FBI regarding his sources for some claims in the dossier, in a grand jury indictment obtained by Special Counsel John Durham.
Durham was assigned by former Attorney General William Barr to probe the origins of the FBI’s Russia investigation.