Longtime Donald Trump security chief Keith Schiller testified Tuesday to the House Intelligence Committee, who wanted to know about the infamous “pee tape” story that appears in the “Steele Dossier” — the private intelligence file compiled by former high-ranking British spy Christopher Steele that details deep ties between Trump and Russia.
But Schiller’s sworn testimony took place behind closed doors, with no transcript of the grilling yet released, leaving the public and outside investigators wondering what Schiller said about the lurid allegations regarding Trump’s 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe beauty pageant.
The Steele Dossier, which may be read in full online by clicking on this link, contained a story about Trump’s trip in November of 2013 saying that during his visit, he hired Russian prostitutes to perform a “golden shower” urination show for him in the presidential suite of the Moscow Ritz-Carlton Hotel. According to the dossier, Trump took delight in watching the prostitutes urinate on a bed previously slept in by United States President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama during an earlier visit to Russia.
But Russian intelligence agents secretly recorded a video of the “golden shower” episode and have been holding it as potential blackmail material over Trump ever since, according to the dossier’s account.
Though the testimony was shielded from the press and public, reporters for CNN were able to piece together an outline of the 58-year-old Schiller’s testimony from sources “familiar with the matter,” in a report published online late Tuesday.
According to the CNN report, Schiller — who was Trump’s personal bodyguard and among his closest confidants for nearly 20 years — suffered repeated memory lapses during his testimony, frequently stating that “he could not recall or was not aware a number of potential Russia connections with Trump associates, which Democrats continually asked about,” reporters Manu Raju, Jeremy Herb, and Marshall Cohen wrote for CNN.
However, Schiller denied what CNN described as “the salacious claims about Trump’s 2013 trip to Moscow” that appear in the Steele Dossier — presumably a reference to the “pee tape” incident, though the CNN report did not say that Schiller denied the allegation specifically or in detail.
While Schiller accompanied Trump to Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe trip — Trump owned the beauty pageant at the time — whether he would have been in Trump’s hotel suite at the time the “pee tape” incident is alleged to have occurred remains unclear.
“Schiller also said he was NOT aware of Trump camp meetings with Russians, despite persistent questions from Dems,” CNN reporter Raju also said on his Twitter account.
But whether Schiller was aware of them or not, numerous meetings between Trump campaign advisers or officials and Russian representatives are known to have taken place.
The most recent acknowledgment of meetings between a Trump adviser and Russians came out of sworn congressional testimony last week by foreign policy adviser Carter Page, who admitted meeting with Russian government officials and top business leaders during a trip to Moscow in July of 2016 — and Page also testified that he kept high-level Trump campaign officials fully informed of his trade to Russia and activities while there.
In June of 2016, Trump’s own son, Donald Trump Jr. — along with Trump’s then-campaign manager Paul Manafort and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner — met with a group of Russians in Trump Tower New York City. At that meeting Trump Jr. said that his father would be willing to revise the U.S. policy on Russia sanctions in exchange for derogatory information from the Russian government about Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Schiller accompanied Trump to the White House, but left that job in September after White House Chief of Staff John Kelly restricted Schiller’s direct access to Trump.
[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]