Donald trump dossier spy christopher steele accused of working for british intelligence

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FELLOW spies, former colleagues and friends of the former MI6 agent identified as being responsible for an explosive dossier about US president-elect Donald Trump have rallied behind the respected veteran intelligence officer.

But Russian authorities havent been so complimentary of the memos author, suggesting he may still be working for the top British intelligence authority saying you can never leave the spy agency.

Christopher Steele has apparently gone into hiding after being outed as the author of the report claiming Moscow held incriminating material on Mr Trump which is could use to blackmail him.

The former spy, who now runs a London-based private intelligence agency, is believed to have compiled the report after being commissioned by political opponents of Mr Trump in Washington.

The Cambridge graduate is known as one of the most eminent Russia specialists in the British Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6.

Over more than two decades with the agency, Mr Steele developed a specialisation in Russia and was reportedly elevated to the head of the Russian desk during the 1990s when it was the prime focus for Britains intelligence agencies.

Former colleagues have described the ex-spook as very credible, and praised his meticulous professionalism and formidable record.

Although the report credited to Mr Steele has been dismissed by its subject as phony, lies, and fake news, those who know him have given positive accounts of his earlier work.

One form Foreign Office official who said he had known Mr Steele for 25 years told The Guardian his former colleague was not the type to pass on false information.

The idea his work is fake or a cowboy operation is false, completely untrue. Chris is an experienced and highly regarded professional. Hes not the sort of person who will simply pass on gossip, the official said.

If he puts something in a report, he believes theres sufficient credibility in it for it to be worth considering. Chris is a very straight guy. He could not have survived in the job he was in if he had been prone to flights of fancy or doing things in an ill-considered way.

After being outed as the author of the damaging dossier, Mr Steele is believed to have fled his Surrey home, and is said to be fearing for his safety, concerned about Russias reaction.

Speaking with The Sun, Mr Steeles father-in-law revealed he was concerned.

Weve just heard the news this morning and we are just a little concerned about it, he said.

We last spoke to him two weeks ago at our Christmas get together, he was with us just after Christmas.

British officials have refused to comment on whether the UK government had offered any assistance to Mr Steele, who was reported to be in fear for his life after being named in US media reports.

It says there is a standard process for supporting current and former holders of sensitive government posts when their identities become public.

The US director of national intelligence James Clapper yesterday said he had assured Trump the leak did not come from the intelligence community.

But in its Twitter posting, the Russian embassy said: Christopher Steele story: MI6 officers are never ex: briefing both ways against Russia and US President.