Ex-MI6 of­fi­cer Christo­pher Steele in hid­ing af­ter Trump memo

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

An ex-MI6 of­fi­cer who is be­lieved to have pre­pared a memo claim­ing Rus­sia has com­pro­mis­ing ma­te­rial on US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump is now in hid­ing.

Christo­pher Steele, who runs a Lon­don-based in­tel­li­gence firm, is be­lieved to have left his home this week.

The memos con­tain un­sub­stan­ti­ated claims that Rus­sian se­cu­rity of­fi­cials have com­pro­mis­ing ma­te­rial on Mr Trump.

The US pres­i­dent-elect said the claims were “fake news” and “phoney stuff”.

Mr Steele has been widely named as the au­thor of a memo - which has been pub­lished in some US me­dia - that con­tains ex­ten­sive al­le­ga­tions about Mr Trump’s per­sonal life and his cam­paign’s re­la­tion­ship with the Rus­sian state.

Among the al­le­ga­tions are that Moscow has a video record­ing of Mr Trump with pros­ti­tutes and dam­ag­ing in­for­ma­tion about his busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties.

It is un­der­stood Mr Steele left his home on ei­ther Tues­day or Wed­nes­day, be­fore he was pub­licly named, and was now “in hid­ing”.

Mr Steele is said to have asked his neigh­bour to look af­ter his cats.

The cen­tral al­le­ga­tion made in the memos was that Mr Trump was “vul­ner­a­ble to black­mail”.

Mr Steele, who was ini­tially named in the US, is be­lieved to be a for­mer mem­ber of the Se­cret In­tel­li­gence Ser­vice - MI6 - and is a di­rec­tor of Or­bis Busi­ness In­tel­li­gence - which de­scribes it­self as a lead­ing cor­po­rate in­tel­li­gence con­sul­tancy.

It seems he had been an in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer - rather than agent - in MI6, who would have run a team of agents as an in­tel­li­gence gath­erer. How­ever, Mr Steele was now work­ing in the pri­vate sec­tor, and there was “prob­a­bly a fair bit of money in­volved” in the com­mis­sion­ing of the dossier.

Christo­pher Bur­rows, who is listed as a co-di­rec­tor of Or­bis along­side Mr Steele, re­fused to con­firm or deny whether the firm had pro­duced the re­port on Mr Trump.

Founded in 2009 by for­mer Bri­tish in­tel­li­gence pro­fes­sion­als, the firm - based in Grosvenor Gar­dens, cen­tral Lon­don - has a “global net­work” of ex­perts and “prom­i­nent busi­ness fig­ures”,, ac­cord­ing to its web­site.

Or­bis says it of­fers “strate­gic ad­vice”, as well as mount­ing “in­tel­li­gence-gath­er­ing op­er­a­tions” and cross-bor­der in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Mr Steele re­port­edly spent years un­der diplo­matic cover work­ing for MI6 in Rus­sia and France, as well as at the For­eign Of­fice in Lon­don. nHe is re­ported to have sup­plied the US Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion with in­for­ma­tion on al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion at FIFA, foot­ball’s world gov­ern­ing body.

The 35-page dossier on Mr Trump - which is be­lieved to have been com­mis­sioned ini­tially by Repub­li­cans op­posed to Mr Trump has been cir­cu­lat­ing in Wash­ing­ton for some time.

Me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tions, un­cer­tain of its cred­i­bil­ity, ini­tially held back from pub­li­ca­tion. How­ever, the en­tire se­ries of re­ports has now been posted on­line, with Mr Steele named as the au­thor.

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