The House Intelligence Committee released 184 pages of testimony from an interview with Glenn Simpson, the leader of the firm that crafted the opposition research dossier against then-candidate Donald Trump, which included tales of the so-called “pee tape.”
In his testimony, Simpson defended the dossier and the work done by ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele.
Simpson told the House committee about research the firm did into Trump’s alleged shady business dealings.
“As we pieced together the early years of his biography, it seemed as if during the early part of his career he had connections to a lot of Italian mafia figures, and then gradually during the ’90s became associated with Russian mafia figures,” Simpson said.
Last week Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released a 300-page transcript of Simpson’s interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In his House interview, Simpson stopped short of definitively saying the Trump campaign and Russia colluded to win the election—a question that is part of an ongoing, separate probe—only saying that there was evidence developed over the past year that a “well established pattern of surreptitious contacts … that supports the broad allegation of some sort of an undisclosed political or financial relationship between the Trump Organization and people in Russia.”
Simpson also noted that the infamous Donald Trump Jr.-Russia meeting appeared to be a “Russian Government-directed operation.”
Simpson, on the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower: "I think it's a reasonable interpretation that that was a Russian Government-directed operation of some sort, based on what I know now." pic.twitter.com/hswTkPSdLs
— Emma Loop (@LoopEmma) January 18, 2018
Fusion GPS was first hired by the far-right website Washington Free Beacon when Trump was a nominee in the Republican presidential primaries. The cost of the opposition research was then picked up by the Democratic Party.
Simpson also discussed the financing of Trump’s golf courses around the world, questioning if he had “enough money to do this and that” saying “he would have had to have outside financial support of these things.” However, he added that “on their face” the financials of the golf course do not “show Russian involvement.”
You can read the entire testimony from Simpson here.