House releases transcript of interview tied to Trump dossier

I to this day can't tell you whether a lot of those things ¿ I just don't have a strong view as to whether they are false or true per se' Simpson told the members of Congress referring to the dossier's most salacious claims

Simpson's interview was released by the committee on Thursday following a unanimous vote to make it public. The transcript is 165 pages long and much of it is redacted.

Simpson also said Fusion GPS did some research into Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, but admits that Kushner is "someone who I sort of misjudged".

"And sometimes properties would be bought and sold, and they would be bought for one price and sold for a loss shortly thereafter, and it really didn't make sense to us".

The dossier made headlines for its salacious claims about Trump's sexual proclivities, but Simpson denied that the firm had wanted to investigate Trump's sex life, saying he "just didn't think it was a useful subject to investigate".

The committee is now investigating the alleged collusion between Trump campaign aides and Russian intelligence agents during the 2016 U.S. election.

Simpson did not say yes or no, but said the patterns of behavior that emerged from the investigation raise questions.

Another Democrat on the Republican-controlled committee, Representative Jim Hines, sought to temper Schiff's comment, telling CNN that Simpson "did not provide evidence and I think that's an important point".

These matters are now under investigation by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general, and possibly special counsel Robert Mueller.

According to Simpson, Fusion GPS' interest in Trump's Russian Federation ties was first piqued while the project was being financed by the Washington Free Beacon.

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"When Mr. Trump went to the Miss Universe pageant [in Moscow] in 2013", Simpson added, "Taiwanchik was there in the VIP section with Mr. Trump and lots of other Kremlin biggies".

Asked about deals of interest involving the now US President, Mr Simpson said, "Some of the things that we have...looked at that we thought were very concerning are existing investments in projects, and specifically a project in Panama, the one in Toronto".

Mr Simpson said that based on the suspicions around whether Mr Trump is in fact a billionaire, as the Republican president has claimed to be, there was "good reason" to believe he did not have the money for his Irish and Scottish golf courses and that he would need "outside financial support".

Mr Simpson said he found the situation inexplicable.

In the course of the questioning, Mr Simpson was asked if he believed there was any Russian money involved with Mr Trump's golf courses in Ireland and Scotland.

The co-founder of the firm behind the Trump-Russia dossier told the House Intelligence Committee in November that he hired a former British spy to probe President Donald Trump's Russia connections because he "said some weird things about [Russian President Vladimir] Putin".

He said he was not aware of Steele paying any of his sources, while defending his methods of gathering information. In 2016, Steele later handed over his findings included in the dossier to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The client didn't instruct us to do that.

You can read the entire testimony from Simpson here.

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