State Department official under Kerry tied to reports alleging Russian collusion

Daily Caller:
One of the co-founders of the opposition research firm that commissioned the Steele dossier was in contact with a State Department official in the days before a news article was published laying out allegations contained in the salacious anti-Trump report.

Emails obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation show that Glenn Simpson, an executive at Fusion GPS, contacted Jonathan Winer, who then served as State’s special envoy for Libya, on Sept. 19 and Sept. 22, 2016. That was days ahead of the publication of a Yahoo! News article that was the first story to cite information gathered by Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the dossier.

Winer, a longtime aide to former Secretary of State John Kerry, was a source for that article, which laid out Steele’s allegations about Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser who would become the target of FBI surveillance.

The emails, which were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed on TheDCNF’s behalf by Judicial Watch, show for the first time that Simpson had direct contact with a State Department official.

The emails do not mention the dossier or Steele, but they do show that Simpson was desperate to speak with Winer, a Democratic attorney who also served in the State Department during the Clinton administration....
The emails do not indicate whether Simpson and Winer spoke or met. Winer did not respond to a request for comment. But a day after the final email exchange, Yahoo’s Michael Isikoff reported that federal law enforcement agencies were investigating Page over possible contacts he had with two Kremlin insiders, Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin.

Isikoff would reveal in a book published with co-author David Corn that Winer vouched for Steele as part of his reporting for the Sept. 23, 2016 article. Winer was also a source for an article that Corn published on Oct. 31, 2016 for Mother Jones that anonymously quoted Steele.
I get the impression that Winer may have been a "second source" so that the reporters could run with the Fusion GPS Steele story.   Apparently, Winer and Steele exchanged information from time to time.  In hindsight, the dossier looks pretty shoddy.  It relies on third-hand hearsay of anonymous sources and the FBI was never able to verify most of the information contained in it.

That so many people in the Obama administration acted like they believed the crap in it suggests they were gullible or disingenuous.


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