American investigators looking into a dossier containing compromising allegations about U.S. President Donald Trump say they have confirmed some of the information in the file, CNN reported Saturday.
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The dossier was reportedly produced as opposition research for the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. The file, compiled by a former British spy named Christopher Steele, contains unproven information on close coordination between Trump's inner circle and the Russians about hacking into Democratic accounts, as well as unsubstantiated claims about unusual sexual activities by Trump attributed to anonymous sources.
According the CNN report, which cited multiple current and former U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials, the investigators say they have confirmed that several conversations mentioned the dossier, between senior Russian officials and other Russian individuals, indeed took place as described.
The corroboration was based on intercepted communications, although the sources would not confirm to CNN which conversations were intercepted or what they were about. The news network has not confirmed whether the content of the conversations in question relates to Trump.
Two officials told CNN that some of the individuals involved in the intercepted communications were "heavily involved" in collecting information that would help Trump win the November 8 election and harm his rival Hillary Clinton.
The report further says that the new information does not touch on the salacious allegations against Trump.
The corroboration, CNN said, has given U.S. intelligence and law enforcement "greater confidence" that some parts of the file might be credible. The investigators continue to probe the dossier.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded to the report by saying, "We continue to be disgusted by CNN's fake news reporting." He later called the news network back and said: "This is more fake news. It is about time CNN focused on the success the president has had bringing back jobs, protecting the nation, and strengthening relationships with Japan and other nations. The president won the election because of his vision and message for the nation."
Trump and then-President Barack Obama were briefed on the dossier in early January. Trump denied the allegations at the time, saying calling reports about it "FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!" on Twitter.