President Donald Trump’s senior aides have dismissed as a “fraud” a dossier compiled by a former British intelligence officer claiming that his campaign was colluding with Russia to defeat Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The dossier, which has been dismissed by the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, was commissioned by the conservative research group Fusion GPS and produced by a London-based law firm that previously hired former British spy Christopher Steele to produce a dossier about Trump.
Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort and other top aides have said the dossier was a hoax and that it was fabricated by a Democratic opposition research firm that has since been accused of publishing false information about the president.
Manafort and Trump campaign chief Kellyanne Conway both said in an interview with ABC News on Sunday that the dossier, “not true.”
Trump told reporters on Friday that he would be releasing a full and complete account of the campaign’s finances “in about a week or so,” but said he was unsure whether it would include financial details about his businesses.
The president and his top aides, meanwhile, have said that the documents do not contain any allegations of collusion between Trump and the Russians.
The report by Fusion GPS was published by the New York Times on June 20, a week before Trump was sworn in as president.
Trump said during the interview that he had no idea that his opponents were circulating the dossier and had no knowledge that it had been circulated by the Clinton campaign, which had previously denied any collusion between the campaign and the Kremlin.
“I didn’t know it was being put out by some phony opposition research outfit,” Trump said, referring to Fusion GPS.
“It was an opposition research piece, and it was completely made up.
It’s a total fabrication.
And it was put out, in the media, by some opposition research outfits.”
Manafort said Sunday on ABC News that he believed that the president “had full confidence” in the intelligence community and that the report was “very clear and very specific.”
“I think that President Trump and others have made a decision to have full confidence in the Intelligence Community, and we believe that he has full confidence,” Manafort said.
The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, is also investigating whether there is any evidence that anyone connected to Trump colluded with the Kremlin during the election.
Fusion GPS is the same firm that commissioned Steele’s dossier on Trump, which was based on interviews with three former foreign intelligence officers who claimed to have information about possible Trump ties to Russia.
The New York Post reported that Fusion GPS paid Steele $20,000 in 2016 to produce the report, which included a summary of conversations between Trump associates and Russian operatives, including a June 2016 conversation in which Trump suggested that Russia could help Trump’s candidacy.
Fusion has denied any wrongdoing.
“This is a phony, fake dossier, and any person or group involved in it is an agent of a foreign power, not of the United States of America,” Manafort told ABC News in a statement on Friday.
Trump himself called the report “fabricated.”
The president has not publicly commented on the dossier or its validity.
“There is absolutely no truth to it,” he told NBC News on Friday, referring questions about the dossier to his lawyer, Marc Kasowitz.
“You can’t just go around saying, ‘I know a lot about people in the world.’
You have to know them.”
The dossier is a collection of memos, notes and other documents that are largely based on unverified, unverified information.
It has been widely circulated on conservative websites and has been linked to other leaks of classified information.
The memos include allegations about Trump’s financial ties to Russians, as well as his dealings with Russian oligarchs and his efforts to undermine the U.S. electoral system.
The President’s campaign has repeatedly denied that the campaign colluded in the election and has said the report is an attempt to distract from his administration’s handling of the investigation into Russia’s election meddling.