Dossier author Christopher Steele did not expect Buzzfeed to actually publish his discredited dossier and was “absolutely flabbergasted” according to the IG report.
It is widely believed that Buzzfeed received the dossier from McCain aide David J. Kramer.
Kramer pleaded the fifth in response to a house subpoena
Per DailyCaller, Kramer said he learned the information about sources in November 2016 after traveling to London to meet with Steele. Kramer and McCain first learned of the dossier earlier that month after meeting with an associate of Steele’s.
After the London meeting, Steele provided a copy of the dossier to Kramer with instructions to share it with McCain. The senator then provided a copy of the document to then-FBI Director James Comey during a Dec. 9, 2016, meeting.
The House intelligence committee issued a subpoena Dec. 27 to compel Kramer to discuss the sources.
Kramer, who was a director at the McCain Institute and now works for Florida International University, has avoided speaking publicly about his handling of the dossier, which the website BuzzFeed published on Jan. 10, 2017.
In addition to his interview with the intelligence committee, Kramer was deposed in December as part of a lawsuit filed against BuzzFeed for publishing the document. Kramer’s lawyers requested that his deposition in that case be sealed.
Steele, McCain, and Fusion GPS, the research company that hired Steele to write the dossier, have denied being BuzzFeed’s source. Kramer is the only person known to have handled the completed dossier who has not denied providing it to BuzzFeed.
Kramer and his lawyer have not responded to numerous requests for comment.
Breitbart reports Anti-Trump dossier author Christopher Steele testified that he was “absolutely flabbergasted” when BuzzFeed published the dossier after an advisor to late Senator John McCain shared the controversial document with the media outlet purportedly against Steele’s wishes.
That tidbit was buried in a footnote on page 176 of the Justice Department’s recently released 476-page Inspector General (IG) report on the FBI’s Russia collusion investigation. Steele made the remarks about Buzzfeed and the McCain staff member during an interview with the IG.
The relevant footnote relates:
Steele testified in foreign litigation that he did not provide his reports to journalists or media organizations and did not authorize anyone to share them. According to the McCain Institute staff member’s testimony in the same litigation, Steele requested that the staff member meet with BuzzFeed, and that Steele neither requested nor prohibited the staff member from sharing the reports with BuzzFeed. Additionally, the staff member testified that Steele was aware that the staff member was furnishing Steele’s reports to The Washington Post.
Steele told the OIG that he trusted the staff member to handle his reports discretely and that the staff member betrayed that trust. Steele explained that the staff member had spent his career handling sensitive intelligence. Steele also said he understood from a former Ambassador that Senator McCain requested that Steele trust the staff member. Steele said he was “absolutely flabbergasted” when BuzzFeed published his election reports.
The unnamed McCain staff member is known to be David J. Kramer.
Kramer revealed in previous testimony that he held a meeting about the dossier with a reporter from BuzzFeed News, who he says snapped photos of the controversial document without Kramer’s permission when he left the room to go to the bathroom. That meeting was held at the McCain Institute office in Washington, Kramer stated.
BuzzFeed published the Christopher Steele dossier on January 10, 2017, setting off a firestorm of news media coverage about the document.
The Washington Post reported last February that Kramer received the dossier directly from Fusion GPS after McCain expressed interest in it.