- Arizona Senator who disowned Trump before election admits he handed document outlining claims of Kremlin blackmail to FBI
- Brief statement claims that he received it and gave it directly to FBI Director James Comey because he was ‘unable to make judgment about accuracy’
- But Washington reporter Carl Bernstein says former British ambassador to Moscow handed it to McCain
- Ambassador has not been named — and author of report also gave to FBI agent he knew at its station in Rome months ago
- Report was apparently paid for first BY Republican enemies of Trump then by Democrats
Sworn Donald Trump enemy John McCain admitted Wednesday that he passed the dossier of claims of a Russian blackmail plot against the president-elect.
The Arizona senator issued a public statement amid mounting questions of his exact role in the affair — and how a document riddled with errors and unverifiable claims came to be published.
‘Late last year, I received sensitive information that has since been made public,’ he said.
‘Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgment about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the Director of the FBI.
‘That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue.’
But the 2008 Republican loser, who disowned his party’s candidate weeks before the election, may have been far more intimately involved than that.
The chain of how the document reached the FBI is not officially known.
However Carl Bernstein, the Watergate reporter who contributed to the first story about its existence, published by CNN on Tuesday afternoon, suggested that McCain was handed it by a former British ambassador to Moscow.
Bernstein told CNN: ‘It came from a former British MI6 agent who was hired from a political opposition research firm in Washington who was doing work about Donald Trump for both republican and democratic candidates opposed to Trump.
‘They were looking at Trumps business ties, they saw some questionable things about Russians, about his businesses in Russia, they in turn hired this MI6 former investigator, he then came up with additional information from his Russian sources, he was very concerned by the implications of it, he then took it to an FBI colleague that he had known in his undercover work for years, he took it to this FBI man in Rome who turned it over to the bureau in Washington in August.
‘And then, a former British ambassador to Russia independently was made aware of these findings and he took the information to John McCain – Senator John McCain of Arizona – in the period just after the election, and showed it to McCain – additional findings.
‘McCain was sufficiently disturbed by what he read to take it to FBI director James Comey himself personally, they had a five minute meeting the two men, very little was said, McCain turned it over to him and is now awaiting what the FBI’s response is to that information.’