Transcript for Officials Confirm British Spy Behind Trump-Russia Allegations
In the meantime tonight, we have learned the intelligence community does continue to investigate those unconfirmed claims. The allegations that Russia might have been gathering material to blackmail Donald Trump. But our team discovering flaws in that report. Here’s our chief investigative correspondent, Brian Ross. Reporter: Officials tonight confirm that while the allegations about Russia and Donald Trump are completely unsubstantiated, they are the work of a respected, former British spy, hired first by Republican operatives during the primaries, then later by democratic operatives who turned over these memos to the FBI last August. And today we caught up with Republican senator John McCain who confirmed he gave copies of the memos to the FBI director just last month. I looked at it, decided it’s a matter for the FBI and gave it to the FBI. Reporter: Tonight, a senior intelligence official tells ABC news that trump was directly told about the allegations last Friday at trump tower, when he received a classified briefing about Russian hacking, which contradicts what trump aide, kellyanne Conway, said last night to Seth Meyers. I believe it said they did brief him on it. He has said that he is not aware of that. Okay. That concerns me. Reporter: Now, an examination by ABC news reveals some serious flaws in the information. The memos claim trump lawyer, Michael Cohen, was part of an “Ongoing secret liaison relationship” with the Russians and met with them “In Prague in August 2016.” Cohen told ABC news and his boss he has never been in Prague. I said, “I want to see your passport.” He brings his passport to my office. I say, “Hey, wait a minute. He didn’t leave the country.” Reporter: The report given to the FBI also claims that Cohen’s father-in-law was “A leading Moscow property developer” close to Putin. But when ABC news today went to the home of the property developer in Moscow, we found a case of mistaken identity — same name, but no connection to trump’s lawyer. Other allegations revolve around trump’s travel to Moscow for a miss universe contest in 2013, and whether the Russians filmed him with prostitutes “To be able to blackmail him if they so wished.” Trump strongly denied that today, saying he knows how to avoid Russia’s spy tricks. And I told many people, be careful, because you don’t want to see yourself on television, cameras all over the place. And Brian Ross with us tonight. Even though you have been able to knock down the allegations in this report, you point out the FBI is still investigating. The FBI also taking some heat tonight about the investigation. It did reveal and the one it didn’t. That’s right. Authorities say these allegations are too serious to ignore, and they have been investigating since well before the election. The director, Comey, revealed he opened the investigation into Clinton’s e-mails, the trump Russian investigation was ongoing, but he did not tell the American peel about that investigation, David. Brian Ross. You’ll stay on it. Thank you.
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