MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Fusion GPS, the company behind the infamous dossier on Donald Trump's alleged ties with Russia, has been pitching defamatory information about the US president to media outlets in Washington, including a story linking him with Jeffrey Epstein, US financier and convicted sex offender, The Washington Times newspaper reported, citing journalist sources.
The story about Trump's contacts with Epstein, which first appeared in January 2016 in an article by Ken Silverstein for Vice News, claimed that the US president had several interactions with the financier, which included attending a major dinner together. Ironically, Bill Clinton, a former US president and husband of Trump's election rival Hillary Clinton, appears to have closer ties with the financier, including multiple trips on Epstein’s private jet.
"Yes, they helped me with that. But as you can see, I could not make a strong case for Trump being super close to Epstein, so they could hardly have been thrilled with that story," Silverstein told The Washington Times.
Silverstein also mentioned The New York Times among other media outlets working with Fusion.
"Fusion works with a lot of big media organizations. That would give them influence in Washington," Silverstein noted.
Epstein was convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor in 2008.
Several days prior to Trump's inauguration in January, the BuzzFeed news outlet published 35 pages of a dossier written by UK spy Christopher Steel, who was hired by a co-founder of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, alleging that the Russian government had collected compromising information about the former Republican candidate, which has been denounced by the US president and called a forgery by the Kremlin.
In October, The Washington Post reported the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee had helped fund Fusion GPS' research on Trump’s alleged ties with Russia. Fusion GPS was originally hired to do research during the 2016 Republican primary campaign for a still unknown Republican donor who wanted to defeat Trump.
Earlier, the US House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed the FBI and US Justice Department demanding "any documents, if they exist, that memorialize DOJ and/or FBI efforts to corroborate, validate, or evaluate information provided by Mr. Steele and/or sub-sources and/or contained in the 'Trump Dossier.'"
At the moment, two separate probes — dubbed a "witch hunt" by the US president — are being conducted by the US Senate and Special Counsel Robert Mueller into the Donald Trump campaign's alleged "collusion" with Moscow, a claim that has been called "groundless" by the Kremlin.