Spy be­hind dossier on Trump was hired by FA

Pol­i­tics: Bri­ton com­piled Fifa re­port

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - News - BY SAM LIS­TER

The for­mer Bri­tish spy be­hind a dossier of em­bar­rass­ing al­le­ga­tions about Don­ald Trump was hired by Eng­land’s 2018 World Cup bid team.

Christo­pher Steele is thought to have been brought in by the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion in 2010 to dig up in­for­ma­tion on world foot­ball gov­ern­ing body Fifa.

In­for­ma­tion about the bid­ding process, which was mired in con­tro­versy, was also passed on to the FBI in the US, ac­cord­ing to re­ports.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors from the FBI’s Eurasian or­gan­ised crime squad met the exMI6 of­fi­cer in London to dis­cuss al­le­ga­tions of pos­si­ble cor­rup­tion in Fifa.

The team later opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion that led to more than 35 peo­ple be­ing charged with a num­ber of of­fences in­clud­ing cor­rup­tion.

Mr Steele has gone into hid­ing af­ter be­ing iden­ti­fied as the au­thor of the re­port claim­ing Moscow held in­crim­i­nat­ing ma­te­rial on the US pres­i­dent-elect which it could use to black­mail him.

For­mer col­leagues have taken the un­usual step in the se­cre­tive world of speak­ing out pub­licly to de­fend the ex-in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer.

They de­scribed him as “thor­ough” and “very pro­fes­sional”.

Mr Steele runs Lon­don­based Or­bis Busi­ness In­tel­li­gence Ser­vice.

He is said to have orig­i­nally com­piled the re­port for po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents of Mr Trump in Washington.

For­mer Bri­tish am­bas­sador to Rus­sia Sir An­drew Wood said he spoke to Repub­li­can sen­a­tor John McCain at a se­cu­rity con­fer­ence in Novem­ber about the ex­is­tence of ma­te­rial that could com­pro­mise the pres­i­dent-elect.

Sir An­drew said: “Yes, I did meet Sen­a­tor McCain and his aides at the con­fer­ence.

“The is­sue of Don­ald Trump and Rus­sia was very much in the news and it was nat­u­ral to talk about it.

“We spoke about the kind of ac­tiv­i­ties the Rus­sians can be en­gaged in.

“We also spoke about how Mr Trump may find him­self in a po­si­tion where there could be an at­tempt to black­mail him us­ing com­pro­mis­ing ma­te­rial and claims that there were au­dio and video tapes in ex­is­tence.”

Sir An­drew was am­bas­sador to Moscow be­tween 1995 and 2000.

He de­nied hav­ing seen the dossier at the time of the meet­ing and added that Mr Steele was “very pro­fes­sional and thor­ough”.

For­mer MI6 of­fi­cer Harry Fer­gu­son said that Mr Steele was re­li­able.

He added: “Chris was a

A screen­grab of Christo­pher Steele from a univer­sity video

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