For former British spy Christopher Steele, it’s “No Time to Lie.”
Steele defended the explosive claims in his controversial dossier that became the catalyst for the investigation into whether former President Donald Trump or his campaign colluded with the Russians during the 2016 presidential election.
“I stand by the work we did, the sources that we had, and the professionalism which we applied to it,” Steele says in the documentary, ”Out of the Shadows: The Man Behind the Steele Dossier,” which premieres on Hulu Monday.
Steele, a former MI6 agent, said in an excerpt of the documentary aired on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that he wants to “set the record” straight about the dossier that was eventually debunked by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
In the interview, Steele insisted that his claim that Michael Cohen, then Trump’s self-described fixer, traveled to Prague in 2016 for secret meetings with Russian officials is true.
Cohen denied the claim and the FBI found no evidence of a meeting.
“Do you think it hurts your credibility at all that you won’t accept the findings of the FBI in this particular case?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“I’m prepared to accept that not everything in the dossier is 100 percent accurate,” Steele said. “I have yet to be convinced that that is one of them.”
Cohen, who has since broken ties with Trump, told ABC News that “I eagerly await his next secret dossier which proves the existence of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and that Elvis is still alive.”
Steele is less confident about the salacious “pee tape” episode contained in his dossier.
It alleged that Trump hired prostitutes in 2013 to urinate in front of him on a bed in Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton where the Obamas had once stayed — an incident supposedly captured on video by Russian intelligence officials.
Steele said the alleged tape “probably does” exist — but that he “wouldn’t put 100% certainty on it.”
Like many of the other claims in the dossier, the “pee tape” was dismissed as being based on hearsay.
Trump has denied the claims.
Stephanopoulos asked Steele why the tape, if it exists, has yet to be released.
“It hasn’t needed to be released,” he responded.
“Why not?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“Because I think the Russians felt they’d got pretty good value out of Donald Trump when he was president of the US,” Steele said.
The Steele Dossier began as a project to dig up dirt on Republican presidential candidates, and the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news website, provided the funding to research firm Fusion GPS.
But the research ended in 2016 when it became apparent Trump would clinch the Republican nomination.
At that point, the Free Beacon withdrew its funding and the project was picked up by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.