Dossier author Christopher Steele wrote a second memo alleging the Kremlin intervened to keep Trump from naming Mitt Romney as secretary of state

Mitt Romney at a town hall in 2012.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The former British spy who authored a controversial memo about President Trump also wrote a later memo, in November 2016, alleging that the Kremlin blocked former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) from being named secretary of state, The New Yorker reports.

Romney, a Trump critic, was in brief talks to become secretary of state after Trump was elected. He was ultimately passed over for former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, a decision that was received well by Moscow.

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The former spy, Christopher Steele, claimed in his November memo that a "senior Russian official" had told him a concerning rumor about Trump's decision against Romney that was circulating in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

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[P]eople were saying that the Kremlin had intervened to block Trump's initial choice for secretary of state, Mitt Romney. (During Romney's run for the White House in 2012, he was notably hawkish on Russia, calling it the single greatest threat to the U.S.) The memo said that the Kremlin, through unspecified channels, had asked Trump to appoint someone who would be prepared to lift Ukraine-related sanctions, and who would cooperate on security issues of interest to Russia, such as the conflict in Syria. If what the source heard was true, then a foreign power was exercising pivotal influence over U.S. foreign policy — and an incoming president. [The New Yorker]

"As fantastical as the memo sounds," The New Yorker adds, "subsequent events could be said to support it." Read more about them here.

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