Report: British national security officials warned that Steele’s collusion claim was not credible

John Solomon at the Hill has had a steady stream of these stories all pushing the basic idea that the collusion investigation was rotten from the start. Today’s installment features a memo which British national security officials allegedly sent to their American counterparts shortly before Trump was inaugurated.

“A whistleblower recently revealed the existence of a communique from our allies in Great Britain during the early days of the Russia collusion investigation,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, told me…

Congressional investigators say one former Flynn team member approached them recently as a whistleblower and disclosed the existence of the communique because the person believed it was relevant to the ongoing review of the FBI and intelligence community’s conduct in the Russia probe…

The investigators interviewed a second former National Security Council staffer who claimed to have read the memo in Flynn’s office. That person, who requested anonymity because he isn’t authorized to talk to the press, told me in an interview that the document contained an explanation from Grant that British authorities assisted the early U.S. investigation into Trump-Russia collusion and later concluded Steele’s intelligence was unreliable.

“The message was clear: the Brits were saying they may have done some stuff to assist the investigation that they now regretted after learning the whole thing was based on information from Steele,” the former U.S. official told me. “They wanted Trump’s team to know they did not think Steele’s information was credible or reliable.

Congressional investigators have supposedly confirmed that a memo was sent by then-British national security adviser Sir Mark Lyall Grant in January 2017. There’s one big problem though: No one has the memo. That’s why even Solomon’s story is framed as a question: “Did Brits warn about Steele’s credibility, before Mueller’s probe?” The fact is we don’t really know until someone turns up the actual document and verifies it says what the whistleblowers claim it does.

Of course, if the document exists and if the description turns out to be accurate, that would be pretty significant. All of this would have happened after the president-elect was briefed and after word of the briefing leaked to CNN. There’s even a suggestion the memo may have been a reaction to Buzzfeed publishing the full dossier. So, if true, this would have been a fairly significant indicator that some of the claims in the dossier which helped build the collusion narrative were considered unreliable long before Mueller was tasked with looking into it.

But until the memo turns up, it’s probably best not to assume too much. If the collusion narrative has taught us anything it’s that there’s often a big gap between what some people think could possibly be true and what is true. But whatever the Brits did send us needs to be reviewed in light of all the other questions that have been raised about how this partisan oppo document wound up dominating out attention for so long.

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