Ivanka had 'personal' relationship with Russia dossier author Christopher Steele, DoJ report reveals
Christopher Steele, the former M16 officer who authored the controversial dossier alleging Russia spied on Trump in a Moscow hotel, was in a “personal” relationship with Ivanka Trump, the daughter of—and senior adviser to—President Donald Trump.
The shocking revelation was made in a long-awaited report from the US Department of Justice (DoJ) inspector-general Michael Horowitz which came out on Monday, December 9. The report also added that Steele had also gifted Ivanka a “family tartan from Scotland”.
Horowitz’s review of the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s 2016 election campaign and its links with Russia includes fresh details of Steele’s exchanges with the investigative agency and the claims that he had known the Trumps long before he wrote the controversial dossier.
Steele’s contacts said the Kremlin had been cultivating the Republican for at least five years and had started a major espionage operation to help him defeat his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. His dossier claimed that Russia had spied on him at a hotel in Moscow in 2013 when he allegedly was in a room with two prostitutes.
Trump denied the charges and repeatedly attacked Steele, calling the dossier “phoney”.
The DoJ report, however, did not mention Ivanka by name. It was a report from ABC News that identified the member of the Trump family to be her.
According to ABC, nearly a decade before the presidential election of 2016, Ivanka had met Steele and, even after he had shifted to private practice in 2010, they were in touch.
The two allegedly exchanged emails even though they never worked together.
Years later, Steele would re-emerge to play a central role in the Russia scandal that rocked the early days of the Trump presidency, the news report cited a source familiar with the issue.
Steele was 'favorably disposed' to the Trumps
Critics went after Steele saying he was biased against the president and give a negative report on him.
The DoJ report, however, said that—contrary to what Trump had claimed on Twitter—Steele was “favorably predisposed” to the first family.
Steele also told federal investigators that it was “ridiculous” to say that he was biased against the then GOP presidential candidate or that his memos, written at the behest of Washington-based research firm Fusion GPS, were partial in any form.
Steele admitted that he had visited Ivanka at the Trump Tower and was "friendly" with her for "some years". He termed their relationship as "personal".
The links between Trump’s campaign and Russia that Steele’s dossier alleged led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller to probe the claims.
The dossier even spoke about embarrassing incidents that involved Trump before he took over as the president.
ABC News cited sources saying that Steele and Ivanka met at a dinner in 2007 and they started considering the prospect of working together in the future.
In 2008, they mailed each other about meeting up near the Trump Tower, according to several emails accessed by the channel. The meeting took place and the two stayed in touch over emails for many years, the sources added.
Ivanka then was the executive vice president of the Trump Organization. She reportedly discussed with Steele the services that the latter’s company, Orbis Business Intelligence, could offer the former’s organization in its foreign projects. The duo, however, did not work together eventually.