A FORMER British intelligence officer identified as being the source of the incendiary dossier about US President-elect Donald Trump has reportedly gone into hiding.
Christopher Steele, who runs London-based Orbis Business Intelligence, apparently left his Surrey home on Wednesday night with no indication of when he would be coming back.
The dossier, which has yet to be authenticated, professes to show that Russia held damaging information about his business interests and footage of him using prostitutes in Moscow.
Downing Street declined to say whether Mr Steele was being assisted by official agencies, saying only that there was a “standard process” to support holders and former holders of particular sensitive posts whose identities were revealed.
US director of national intelligence James Clapper said he had told Mr Trump that the leak did not come from the intelligence community.
In an extraordinary New York press conference on Wednesday, the presidentelect made clear that he suspected US intelligence agencies of releasing the 35-page dossier, which contained unverified allegations that Russia held compromising information that would render him vulnerable to blackmail.
He blamed political opponents for commissioning the document during last year’s election campaign and said it would be a “tremendous blot” on the agencies’ reputation if they were shown to have leaked it.
And he turned on the news organisations which reported it, branding the CNN news channel “fake news” and warning that website BuzzFeed would “suffer the consequences” for publishing it in full online.
The Kremlin has dismissed the allegations as “complete fabrication and utter nonsense,” claiming that the Russian government “does not engage in collecting compromising material.”
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