A Democratic PR executive and ally of the Clinton family who contributed information to the infamous Steele dossier said Thursday that he made up the sourcing of a claim that wound up in the discredited anti-Trump report. 

Charles Dolan Jr., a former aide to Hillary Clinton, testified in John Durham’s trial against Igor Danchenko on Thursday that he heard a claim about Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign while watching TV and regurgitated it to Danchenko, telling him that he had heard it from a “GOP friend” over drinks.

“I actually got it off of cable news,” Dolan said, according to the Washington Times, adding that he was “trying to throw [Danchenko] a bone because he was helping me.”

The nugget of information was relayed to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, and purportedly provided insight into why he had left the campaign. It made it into ex-British spy Christopher Steele’s dossier via Danchenko, despite the sourcing being completely fabricated.

Charles Dolan, Jr. admitted to making up the claim after hearing it on cable news.
Charles Dolan Jr. admitted to making up the claim after hearing it on cable news.
KG Global
Russian analyst Igor Danchenko outside court in Alexandria, VA on Oct. 11.
Russian analyst Igor Danchenko outside court in Alexandria, Va., on Oct. 11.
Getty Images

Danchenko, a private researcher and former FBI informant, emailed Dolan in August 2016 informing him that he was working on a “project against Trump” and asked the Democratic operative for “any rumor, thought, or allegation” related to Manafort.

“Let me dig around on Manafort,” Dolan responded, later emailing Danchenko the lie that he “had a drink with a GOP friend of mine” who told him Corey Lewandowski, who previously served as Trump’s campaign manager, “hates Manafort” and “is doing [a] dance” about Manafort’s resignation.

“I thought I’d embellish a bit,” Dolan said on the witness stand.

Paul Manafort is seen in the hallway of the New York State Supreme Court in 2019.
Paul Manafort in the hallway of the New York state Supreme Court in 2019.
Gregory P. Mango

Dolan also testified that the information he sent to Danchenko was “substantially similar” to the material in the Steele dossier, but that he didn’t realize the information he passed along to Danchenko was used in it until Durham’s team showed him.

Danchenko has been charged with five counts of making false statements to the FBI regarding the way he compiled information used in the Democratic National Committee- and Hillary Clinton presidential campaign-funded dossier.



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