Dirty dossier appears to be based on hearsay from people Steele never met?

Rowan Scarborough:
Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the discredited Russia-Trump dossier, has told friends that his 16 memos — 35 pages in length — were close to flawless.

“I’ve been dealing with this country for 30 years,” he said. “Why would I invent this stuff?”

He called his dossier “a life-changing experience” for anyone who reads it.

He told this to Luke Harding, a reporter for Britain’s left-leaning Guardian newspaper who has written an homage to the man and his dossier. Together, the two fueled the FBI’s 18-month-old investigation into the Trump campaign for suspected coordination with Kremlin hacking of Democratic Party computers.

“The dossier, Steele told friends, was a thoroughly professional job, using professional methods,” Mr. Harding says in the book “Collusion.”
...
“According to Steele’s sources, associates of Trump and Russian spies had held a series of clandestine meetings, in central Europe, Moscow, and elsewhere,” Mr. Harding says. “The Russians were very good at tradecraft. Nonetheless, could this be a trail that others might later detect?”

Again, the problem for Mr. Steele is that this supposed massive conspiracy has not been proved by any public evidence. Even some Democrats say they have yet to see firm evidence of collusion.

In a libel lawsuit filed against him in a London court, Mr. Steele expressed less confidence in his conclusions. There he talked of only “possible” coordination based on “limited intelligence.”
...
Mr. Harding explains the dossier’s sourcing as a complicated arrangement: intermediaries who talked to Kremlin sources and then reported back to Mr. Steele.

But in the dossier, Mr. Steele seemed to describe his contacts as firsthand informants.

“Normally an intelligence officer would debrief sources directly,” the Harding book says. “Since Steele could no longer visit Russia, this had to be done by others or in third countries. There were intermediaries, subsources, operators — a sensitive chain. Only one of Steele’s sources on Trump knew of Steele. (Emphasis added.)

“Steele put out his Trump-Russia queries and waited for answers. His sources started reporting back.
...
Steele was throwing Democrat money at these "sources" and apparently, they were willing to say anything.  Despite the author of the pieces assertions the FBI has not been able to confirm any of the material allegations.  They found that Carter Page did take a trip to Moscow, but could find no evidence of the meetings alleged in teh dossier.  They found that a Russian oil company did make a public offering, but it had announced it publicly a year before the dossier was compiled.  It was no secret.  The paragraph in bold above gives strong evidence of why the dossier has turned out to be so unreliable.

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