The FBI was ready to pay Christopher Steele, the former MI6 officer who produced the explosive Donald Trump Moscow dossier, it was alleged on Tuesday night.
The Washington Post, which reported the allegation, could not confirm how much the agency planned to pay Steele.
The arrangement would have seen Steele continue his investigations into the alleged connections between Trump and his campaign team, and the Russian government. However, the relationship between the FBI and Steele broke down when he was identified as the author of the dossier in media reports in January.
Among other unproven allegations, Steele’s dossier stated that Russia was holding compromising information on Trump and that Russia had hacked Democratic Party emails to assist Trump.
Investigations into the alleged ties are currently ongoing in the Senate, where the Intelligence Committee is carrying out an inquiry.
House Speaker Paul Ryan noted Feb. 28 that he had seen “no evidence so far” to suggest links between Trump and the Kremlin, but added that investigations would continue to ensure that “no stone is unturned.”
Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations contained in Steele’s report.
“It’s all fake news. It’s phony stuff. It didn’t happen,” Trump said, according to the Post. “It was a group of opponents that got together — sick people — and they put that crap together.”
He also attacked Steele in a tweet, describing him as a “failed spy.”
“I win an election easily, a great ‘movement’ is verified, and crooked opponents try to belittle our victory with FAKE NEWS. A sorry state!” he wrote in another tweet, according to the Independent. “Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?”
Prior to the dossier’s publication, Steele alleged that Trump and Russia were cooperating.
“Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years,” Steele wrote in June 2016, the Post reported.
US intelligence agencies declared after the elections that they believed Russia had intervened in them.
James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, issued a statement on Steele’s dossier in January.
“The [intelligence community] has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable, and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions,” said Clapper.
Earlier in February, intelligence officials confirmed that some of the conversations referred to in the dossier did take place. However, these did not include Trump or any members of his team.
Officials added that they had neither confirmed nor disproved any of the allegations made by Steele.