Donald Trump says he is the victim of Hillary Clinton-funded ′Russian dossier′ | News | DW | 25.10.2017
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Donald Trump says he is the victim of Hillary Clinton-funded 'Russian dossier'

News reports have emerged alleging Hillary Clinton's campaign funded compromising research into Trump during the 2016 presidential election. Trump had repeatedly denied the validity of the research's findings.

US President Donald Trump said he was "the victim" on Wednesday following news reports that Hillary Clinton's campaign team had paid for research by a former British spy that resulted in multiple damaging allegations against the president.

In a tweet, the president said: "Clinton campaign & DNC paid for research that led to the anti-Trump Fake News Dossier. The victim here is the President."

He later told reporters that the revelation was "a disgrace" and "a very sad commentary on politics in this country."

BuzzFeed, a news website, had published a leaked version of the research dossier in January, which included salacious accusations against the then-Republican president-elect and his campaign team's ties  to the Russian government.

Trump has repeatedly denied the validity of the dossier and questioned whether the Democrats had been involved funding it. In a tweet on Sunday, he said the "FBI should immediately release who paid for it."

But news agency Associated Press (AP) reported in early October that the special counsel heading the ongoing probe into links between the Trump campaign and Russia, Robert Mueller, had questioned the man who compiled the document, former British agent Christopher Steele. The FBI has also been working to corroborate the document's claims.

Washington politicking

Earlier on Wednesday, The Washington Post and AP reported that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Convention (DNC) had helped fund the work of Fusion GPS, the company that hired Steele to investigate the Trump campaign.

A lawyer from the Clinton campaign, Marc E. Elias, retained Fusion in April 2016 after the firm had already received funding from an unidentified Republican client. The arrangement reportedly continued until just before the presidential election in November.

During that time, Steele handed over his research to Elias, but it was not clear how much information was shared, who within the DNC was aware of the arrangement or its findings, or how much Elias paid Fusion for the final reports.

Democratic ignorance?

A DNC spokeswoman said on Wednesday that the party chairman, Tom Perez, did not know about the arrangement between Elias and Fusion GPS.

Brian Fallon, a former spokesman for the Clinton campaign, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that he had not known about Steele or Fusion's involvement in the political research.

"I have no idea what Fusion or Steele were paid but if even a shred of that dossier ends up helping Mueller, it will prove money well spent," he said.

Fighting multiple fires

Since taking office, Trump has struggled to escape suspicions about collusion between his campaign and the Russian government.

The ongoing saga has formed a backdrop to a presidency that has so far been marred by few legislative wins and a series of public gaffes and spats.

On Tuesday, Trump traded blows with two leading Republican senators, Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, both of whom had questioned the president's character and leadership ability.

amp/kms (AP, dpa)

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