Fusion GPS Co-Founders Deny Dossier Triggered FBI Probe

The firm behind the salacious "Trump-Russia" dossier believed to be the genesis of an FBI counterintelligence investigation into President Trump has hit back against detractors in a New York Times op-ed published Tuesday.

Fusion GPS co-founders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch spent a little over 900 words denying what they call "conspiracy theories" surrounding their "motives and backers," while calling on Congress to release the full transcripts of their November testimony (after having bailed on their first appearance).


Fusion GPS co-founders Glenn Simpson (right) and Peter Fritsch

The op-ed reads like a crack team of D.C. attorneys performing damage control; addressing criticisms with broad brush strokes, minimizing the role of the Steele dossier, and ignoring uncomfortable truths - all while maintaining that President Trump has serious ties to Russia.

Fusion's self-defense comes after several months of reports suggesting they had a far more nefarious role in attempts to take down then-candidate Trump. 

Conservative news outlets and even our former employer, The Wall Street Journal, have spun a succession of mendacious conspiracy theories about our motives and backers.

We are happy to correct the record. In fact, we already have.

The Fusion co-founders admit or confirm the following: 

  • Hillary Clinton paid for Fusion GPS services
  • Fusion assisted an intermediary who delivered the dossier to John McCain
  • The dossier relied on sources in Russia (who were not paid, Fusion claims)

Also peppered throughout the op-ed are several claims meant to "correct the record," including: 

  • The Steele dossier did not spark the FBI investigation into Russian meddling

We don’t believe the Steele dossier was the trigger for the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russian meddling. As we told the Senate Judiciary Committee in August, our sources said the dossier was taken so seriously because it corroborated reports the bureau had received from other sources, including one inside the Trump camp.

  • Fusion didn't tell former MI6 spy Christopher Steele what he would be working on

Yes, we hired Mr. Steele, a highly respected Russia expert. But we did so without informing him whom we were working for and gave him no specific marching orders beyond this basic question: Why did Mr. Trump repeatedly seek to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state that most serious investors shun?

  • Fusion had no knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016

...we debunked the biggest canard being pushed by the president’s men — the notion that we somehow knew of the June 9, 2016, meeting in Trump Tower between some Russians and the Trump brain trust. We first learned of that meeting from news reports last year.

While Fusion shouldn't be in a position to know whether the FBI launched their Russia probe using the dossier - and we'll have to trust them that Christopher Steele had no idea who he was ultimately working for, their claim not to know about the Trump Tower meeting until they learned of it from 'news reports' is questionable at best. 

Natalia Veselnitskaya

For starters, Fusion co-founder Glenn Simpson met with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya before and after the Trump Tower meeting, according to a Fox News report from November. 

...hours before the Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016, Fusion co-founder and ex-Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson was with Veselnitskaya in a Manhattan federal courtroom, a confidential source told Fox News.

Court records reviewed by Fox News, email correspondence and published reports corroborate the pair’s presence together. The source told Fox News they also were together after the Trump Tower meeting. 

Moreover, a Trump legal team spokesman, Mark Corallo, said; "Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS." Said Fusion GPS associate was Rob Goldstone - publicist for the son of Russian Oligarch Aras Agalarov, who claimed to have had damaging information about Hillary Clinton which could help the Trump campaign.  

Moving on to yet-unanswered controversies, Fusion failed to address any of the following:

  • Their hire of Nellie Ohr, the CIA-linked wife of demoted DOJ official, Bruce Ohr
Bruce Ohr, Glenn Simpson, Nellie Ohr
  • Glenn Simpson's clandestine meeting with "formerly senior" DOJ official Bruce Ohr - who demoted for meeting with Simpson and Christopher Steele.

House investigators have determined that Ohr met shortly after the election with Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS – the opposition research firm that hired Steele to compile the dossier with funds supplied by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

...evidence collected by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., indicates that Ohr met during the 2016 campaign with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the “dossier.”  -Fox News

  • Fusion's failed effort to link the President to billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein:

Since you asked, yes, they helped me with that, Mr. Silverstein said. But as you can see, I could not make a strong case for Trump being super close to Epstein, so they could hardly have been thrilled with that story. [In my humble opinion], that was the best story written about Trumps ties to Epstein, but I failed to nail him. Trumps ties were mild compared to Bill Clintons.

  • A fabricated story that a secret email server existed between Trump Tower and Moscow's Alpha Bank - which was debunked by internet sleuths who traced the IP address to a marketing server located outside Philadelphia. 

Fusion is currently being sued for libel in two separate cases by three Russian businessmen-bankers in US District Court for their inclusion in the Dossier, along with the 'secret server' story pushed by Glenn Simpson. Alfa bank executives Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan filed suit in early October, claiming their reputations were harmed by the largely unsubstantiated document

Petr Aven (right) and Mikhail Fridman

"Even though the Dossier contained unverified allegations, Defendants recklessly placed it beyond their control and allowed it to fall into the hands of media devoted to breaking news on the hottest subject of the day: the Trump candidacy," the suit alleges.

While Fusion may have addressed a few outstanding questions with broad brush-strokes, they left many more unanswered. Perhaps they can issue a second op-ed to follow up on all of the other questions left unanswered. 


HenryKissinger… Sandmann Wed, 01/03/2018 - 09:37 Permalink

Fusion is currently being sued for libel in two separate cases by three Russian businessmen-bankers in US District Court for their inclusion in the Dossier. Alfa bank executives Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan filed suit in early October, claiming their reputations were harmed by the largely unsubstantiated document.

Mikhail Fridman : jew
Petr Aven : jew
German Khan : jew

WOA the tribesmen are good at this banking thingy!

In reply to by Sandmann

two hoots HenryKissinger… Wed, 01/03/2018 - 09:47 Permalink

Things age coming to a head or tail or whatever the unproper collocial phrase

Bannon unloaded on Kushner, Don Jr, Manafort in book:


“This is all about money laundering. Mueller chose [senior prosecutor Andrew] Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy. Their path to fucking Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr and Jared Kushner … It’s as plain as a hair on your face.”

Seems the whole kit and caboodle in DC is rotten.   So why is Hatch retiring?

In reply to by HenryKissinger…

Sanity Bear eclectic syncretist Wed, 01/03/2018 - 12:23 Permalink

Reason #1: to start with, Steele is no "highly respected Russia expert", he is a spy.

Not an ex-spy - provable in that the dossier itself is self-evidently spycraft.

Fusion GPS essentially admits here to working with a foreign spy.

Did I mention the nation is still officially in a state of war?

So... we have working with a foregin spy to overthrow the government during a state of war.

In any other time and place these people would have long since been lined up against the wall.

In reply to by eclectic syncretist

RumpleShitzkin Joe Davola Wed, 01/03/2018 - 12:14 Permalink

All good questions.


and this:

  • Fusion had no knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016

...we debunked the biggest canard being pushed by the president’s men — the notion that we somehow knew of the June 9, 2016, meeting in Trump Tower between some Russians and the Trump brain trust. We first learned of that meeting from news reports last year.


That is the purest of horseshit. Moreover, George Webb can place McCabe at the after meeting debrief w/ Fusion and the Mati Hari Russkie Attorney. The FBI heffe’s and Fusion were tighter than two balls in a sack.

In reply to by Joe Davola

PT HenryKissinger… Wed, 01/03/2018 - 09:50 Permalink

re "... this basic question: Why did Mr. Trump repeatedly seek to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state that most serious investors shun? " :

Really?  And he woz the only one???  What about the rest of them???

"... becoz Globull trade will give us whirlled peas!!!  Everyone knows that.  My eCONomics media has been telling me that for the last three decades.

Some globull trades are moar equal than other globull trades.

In reply to by HenryKissinger…

Jim in MN Ghost of PartysOver Wed, 01/03/2018 - 10:08 Permalink

Look, the fact that the party in power used the secret apparatus of the police state to try to throw an election their way is WAY bigger than Watergate.  It really is the largest scandal in US political history, on a par with the JFK murder and 9/11.

How any Democrat will be able to run in the fall without disavowing Clinton, Obama and their thugs is beyond me.   And since their comfort zones will prevent them from seeing this, they will proceed as normal.

The only real question is how the Independent voters are going to behave.  Do they turn out, and who do they blame, punish, or support?

That is 2018 in a nutshell.  I only pray that Independent-minded candidates (from either party, why not), put on their big kid pants and get the Hell into the fray.  Because they will win and win bigly.  Third parties still can't make it here, but rogue forces within the major parties have a serious opening.

In reply to by Ghost of PartysOver

CatInTheHat Jim in MN Wed, 01/03/2018 - 11:08 Permalink

I'm an Independent. Can't speak for other Independents, but I can say that since we don't swallow red pill blue pill, it's easier to see the corruption on both sides 

I was a DEMOCRAT up until 2016 primaries when I saw all the FRAUD going on, again, having ZERO to do with Russia.

Problem with Democrats is that they had an opportunity to do some serious introspection as to why they lost in the first place. But instead they have been working all year to get Americans INCINERATED in a war with Russia because they put up two criminal sociopaths who did the American people dirty. And they continue to lie, deflect, hang onto Clinton like a dirty sock, and exploit identity politics so as to avoid their own mass corruption and more than questionable characters in their own party who serve Corporation and the MIC.

We don't miss shit like Democrats giving Trump his biggest and first policy win with the GIANT NDAA this last year. Russia gate serves their pro war position. 

I won't vote for either party candidates this next midterm. And I know a few people who are INDEPENDENTS who won't vote at all. No matter which team you choose to play on, both are hopelessly corrupt...  


In reply to by Jim in MN

Omen IV NoDebt Wed, 01/03/2018 - 11:23 Permalink

Nunes should already know the answer - seems that would be the first thing to do and cut to the chase  so why all the intrigue?

Mueller must know the answer already from Comey - so why not complete the circle by Nunes?

there is a whole other game below the surface being played that hasnt surfaced for whatever reason

In reply to by NoDebt

RumpleShitzkin Omen IV Wed, 01/03/2018 - 12:33 Permalink

My feeling is that < 15% of the firefight here is happening in the open.

Majority of the licks are happening backchannel. Most investigators and prosecutors worth a shit are more than willing to let the perps run off with the bait and reel out more line. 

The reason is simple. The perps are still trying to cya. Cya in this case = more crimes. They are also now largely away from their spy systems, so they can’t coordinate and are operating in the dark. None of them know who is still on defense or who has turned. So they flail around and rack up more felonies.


why get in their way? 

In reply to by Omen IV

Sanity Bear RumpleShitzkin Wed, 01/03/2018 - 15:18 Permalink

At a certain point the hammer has to come down or this is all a sick joke on us.

This country has a clear, immediate problem, and that is the breakdown of the Rule of Law and all the evils that follow. As long as Hillary Clinton and her cult walk free, no serious person can claim any Rule of Law is in effect.

But that very same Rule of Law is what made America extraordinary in its prosperity. In its absence we're on the superhighway to the third world.

So there is definitely a cost - a major one - to waiting too long, especially when the evidence that nails these crooks dead to rights has been out in the open.

In reply to by RumpleShitzkin

LaugherNYC MagicHandPuppet Wed, 01/03/2018 - 11:37 Permalink

Look at the rats scrambling in the maze... trying to cover their asses. Fusion GPS coming out to “correct the record” — city me a break. If these guys aren’t under a dozen subpoenas and a gag order, what the hell is going on? Unless they wrote their “op ed” under oath and penalty of perjury, nothing they have to say is of interest. A bunch of sleazes doing opposition research, jumping from dirty patron to dirty patron and now, quite obviously, under threat from their latest master, the FBI.

It’s time for Mueller and the DOJ to throw open the records and let the American people see what happened. The FISA warrant should be verified and produced, and this closed-door “secret” shit has to stop. When the top law enforcement organization in the country is under such a cloud of suspicion, what is more important, trying desperately to find some link between the guy elected President and a bunch of Russian facebook ads, and maybe trying to get to the truth about Hillary Clinton’s emails - which we now know for FACT were handled with gross negligence - or the very distinct possibility that the FBI, knowing the truth about Hillary’s email problem (though sho knows how many emails were obliterated never to be seen again) started scrambling around trying to cover up her risibly criminal mismanagement by triggering their manufactured “insurance policy” against Trump?

Whether you are a Dem or Repub, love Trump or hate him, the possibility that a sitting Democratic Administration, including the Attorney General, tried to cook an election using the apparatus of both the National Security structure and the Intelligence/Law Enforcement complex is not just “deeply troubling,” it is absolutely unacceptable, and people need to be called to account for it.

Instead, it looks like they will all walk, and get giant book deals, which will beyond doubt eventually be exposed as a massive payoff mechanism for public servants who have obeyed illicit orders ( 

Any time you feel uncertain about the pattern that has emerged, just think of that meeting on Loretta Lynch’s plane, a place where they would not be seen, and where they knew they would be safe from any eavesdropping or surveillance. With this whole saga, at every single turn, the optics are bad, and one has to stretch to make the most innocent possible interpretation to believe meddling and impropriety were not afoot.

In reply to by MagicHandPuppet