After being named as the man behind the controversial 35-page dossier making damaging allegations of Russian ties against Trump, and claiming the existence of a compromising sex tape, the former British M16 spy, Christopher Steele, has reportedly fled his home in Surrey, England, and gone into hiding, out of “fear for his life.”
The 52-year-old man was reportedly seen fleeing his gated home in his car on Wednesday morning, January 11, after handing his pet cat to one of his neighbors, saying “Will you look after my cat?” the Daily Mail reported.
“He asked me to look after his cat as he would be gone for a few days,” the neighbor told The Telegraph. “I’m not sure where he’s gone or how to contact him. I don’t really know much about him except to say hello.”
The former spy, who is believed to have passed a copy of the dossier to M16, appeared to have left his house in a rush as most of the lights in the house were left on.
“He is terrified for his safety,” a security source reportedly said, according to The Telegraph.
Former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, who produced Donald Trump Russian dossier, 'terrified for his safety' https://t.co/s3sGzvDM3b— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) January 12, 2017
The “source” added that Steele, married with three children, might have fled to a safe house within the U.K. or abroad. His wife and children were also not in the house on Wednesday evening.
Steele was reportedly posted to the U.K.’s Moscow embassy in 1990 under Ambassador Sir Rodric Braithwaite and served as M16’s Russian specialist in Moscow. He also served at the British embassy in Paris in 1998 and at the U.K.’s Foreign Commonwealth Office in 2003.
It is claimed that during his service, he worked with Alexander Litvinenko, the former KGB man believed to have been assassinated by the Russian state in London in 2016 through poisoning with polonium.
After Steele left the secret service, he set up a security firm, Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd in 2009, with a partner, Christopher Burrows, 58, also a former M16 spy. The security firm, based in central London, boasted a “global network” of contacts that facilitate “intelligence gathering operations.” It claimed to specialize in “complex, cross-border intelligence-gathering operations” for corporate clients and offered “real-time source reporting on business and politics at all levels.”
BBC understands dossier of allegations on Trump based on memos by Christopher Steele, former member of Britain's MI6 https://t.co/qB9ITbsI2m— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) January 11, 2017
The security firm was hired by one of Trump’s Republican opponents before the 2016 election to conduct an investigation on the New York estate mogul’s alleged Russian financial and business ties. To compile the dossier on Trump, he reportedly reached out to old contacts within the Russian FSB who told him that Russian intelligence agencies had compromising information on Trump, including a video showing the billionaire watching a group of prostitutes performing a bizarre sexual activity.
It was alleged that the sexual activity included a “golden shower show” that involved urinating on the bed in the presidential suite at Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton hotel. The presidential suite had previously been occupied by President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama.
The 35-page dossier also made largely unsubstantiated allegations of extensive financial and business links between Trump and Russia.
But critics dismissed the allegations in the dossier, pointing out that it was littered with several spelling and factual errors. But others pointed out that Steele has a reputation in his business circles as a “meticulous, reliable and well-informed” investigator. But a source criticized him, saying he tended to be “slightly showier and less grounded in reality than you might expect a former SIS person to be.”
Trump has dismissed the allegations in the dossier as “fake news” and defended himself against the “golden shower (urination) show” allegation, saying he could not have been involved in such behavior because “I’m a germophobe.”
“Does anyone believe that? I’m a germophobe.”
Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to "leak" into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
I win an election easily, a great "movement" is verified, and crooked opponents try to belittle our victory with FAKE NEWS. A sorry state!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Trump alleged that U.S. intelligence officials deliberately leaked the dossier to damage his reputation ahead of his January 20 inauguration.
The dossier, currently in the possession of the FBI, was reportedly handed to Director James Comey by Arizona Senator John McCain. The Senator reportedly obtained it from a former British Ambassador to Moscow who has not been named.
Meanwhile, a BBC reporter, Paul Wood, has claimed that Steele was not the only source of the allegations contained in his 35-page dossier. According to Wood, a former British spy told him that he obtained similar information from the “head of an East European intelligence agency.”
The Eastern European source appeared to corroborate Steele’s allegation, saying that the alleged Trump sex tape existed.
Wood also said that he obtained information from “active duty CIA officers” that “more than one tape,” both audio and video, filmed on different dates in different places, including Ritz-Carlton in Moscow and St. Petersburg, existed. The CIA sources also claimed that the recorded materials were “of a sexual nature.”
The U.S. intelligence agencies briefed President Barack Obama, and later Trump, on the allegations because they considered them credible although they could not verify them. Trump is known to have visited Moscow in 2013 to participate in the Miss Universe Pageant and the videos, if they exist, might have been taken during the visit.
Wood also said that a CIA officer told him that a serving FBS officer assured him that the tapes existed.
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