Speed Reads

The plot thickens

A conservative news site funded the project that ultimately led to the Trump dossier

The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news website, confirmed Friday it hired Fusion GPS to do research on 2016 candidates, in the process funding the beginning of the project that would eventually lead to the publication of the unverified dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele which claims to show ties between President Trump and the Russian government.

The site "had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele," the Beacon said in a statement. "Nor did we have any knowledge of the relationship between Fusion GPS and the Democratic National Committee, [law firm] Perkins Coie, and the Clinton campaign." Representatives of the outlet have offered to testify about their work with Fusion GPS before the House Intelligence Committee.

After the Beacon stopped working with Fusion GPS, funding for the research was provided by a Perkins Coie attorney representing Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee.