Following the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion last year that Russia had interfered in the election, the FBI arranged to work with the British spy who authored a controversial dossier alleging the Russian government had blackmail material on President Trump, The Washington Post reports. While ultimately the FBI did not pay the agent, Christopher Steele, to continue his work, "the FBI's arrangement with Steele shows that bureau investigators considered him credible and found his line of inquiry to be worthy of pursuit," the Post writes.
President Trump has slammed the dossier as "fake news, phony stuff" and The Week's Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry criticized BuzzFeed News for publishing the leaked dossier, arguing that "up until recently, no journalistic outlet would publish the information because it could not be verified."
FBI officials reportedly broke off the deal to work with Steele after the publication of the dossier, but he had earlier worked with the U.S. to uncover corruption in the soccer organization FIFA. At the time of the agreement between Steele and the FBI, in October, Steele had also worked to gather information for supporters of Hillary Clinton.
"The revelation that the FBI agreed to pay Steele at the same time he was being paid by Clinton supporters to dig into Trump's background could further strain relations between the law enforcement agency and the White House," The Washington Post writes. Read their full report here.