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FBI had Trump campaign source that backed up Russia dossier info: Senate testimony

In this Nov. 14, 2017 file photo, Glenn R. Simpson, co-founder of the research firm Fusion GPS, arrives for a scheduled appearance before a closed House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.
In this Nov. 14, 2017 file photo, Glenn R. Simpson, co-founder of the research firm Fusion GPS, arrives for a scheduled appearance before a closed House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

WASHINGTON – U.S. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein on Tuesday released testimony from the founder of the Fusion GPS firm that researched President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia and produced a dossier denounced by the White House.

The Washington research firm has been under attack by the White House and Republican lawmakers over the dossier, which is central to investigations in Congress and by a federal special counsel into allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help Trump win.

“The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation into potential collusion and obstruction of justice,” Feinstein said in a statement. “The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public.”

READ MORE: Trump and Clinton campaigns were both offered info gathered by research firm Fusion GPS

Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson had asked that a transcript of his 10 hours of testimony before Senate Judiciary Committee staff be made public, Feinstein said.

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The congressional panel is one of three investigating Russia’s activities in the election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

Feinstein released the testimony after the panel’s Republican chairman, Charles Grassley, on Friday called for a criminal investigation into former British spy Christopher Steele, who was working for Fusion GPS when he compiled a “dossier” of allegations of financial and personal links between Trump, his advisers and Russia.

Simpson and Fusion co-founder Peter Fritsch had urged the committee’s Republican leaders to release transcripts of their testimony in a New York Times opinion piece last Tuesday entitled “The Republicans’ Fake Investigations.”

Simpson testified the former British spy told him that he had met with the FBI in Rome, Italy and the agency had other intelligence from an internal Trump campaign source, leading to the FBI to believe Steele’s info might be credible.

READ MORE: Donald Trump-Russia dossier prompted by Republican-linked site Washington Free Beacon

“Essentially what he told me was they had other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source and that—that they—my understanding was that they believed Chris at this point—that they believed Chris’ information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing,” Simpson said, according to the transcript. “And one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization.”

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Russia has repeatedly denied allegations of meddling in the U.S. election and Trump denies any collusion between his campaign and Moscow officials.

–with a file from Global News