Washington, D.C. – Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) reportedly confirmed in his forthcoming book, “The Restless Wave,” (set to be released in May 22), that he personally handed then-FBI Director James Comey a copy of the now infamous dossier of opposition research on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, but defends his actions as those of a patriotic American.
“I agreed to receive a copy of what is now referred to as ‘the dossier,'” McCain wrote in his upcoming book. “I reviewed its contents. The allegations were disturbing, but I had no idea which if any were true. I could not independently verify any of it, and so I did what any American who cares about our nation’s security should have done.”
[Related: Nunes Memo Released]
According to a report by the Daily Beast, which obtained an advance copy of the book, McCain wrote that he spoke to Sir Andrew Wood, a former British diplomat, in November 2016 at the Halifax International Security Forum. Wood reportedly made McCain aware of Steele’s dossier, which subsequently resulted in David Kramer, senior director for Human Rights and Human Freedoms at the McCain Institute, traveling to London to meet with Steele. This was not Steele’s first contact with US officials, as prior to this meeting he had already met with US officials in Rome to discuss his research, according to The Washington Post.
McCain reportedly recalled that once he had procured a copy of the dossier, he put it into a safe in his office and called Comey’s office to request a meeting with the FBI director.
“I went to see him at his earliest convenience, handed him the dossier, explained how it had come into my possession,” said McCain. “I said I didn’t know what to make of it, and I trusted the FBI would examine it carefully and investigate its claims. With that, I thanked the director and left. The entire meeting had probably not lasted longer than ten minutes. I did what duty demanded I do.”
Former FBI Director Comey, during a promotional tour for his own new book, admitted that upon briefing President Trump on the existence of the dossier, he failed to mention that the document was a product of opposition research funded in part by his political enemies.
In an episode of Reality Check in February, Ben Swann examined the claim that the dossier had played a significant role in the acquisition of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant application to authorize the surveillance of Carter Page, President Trump’s former campaign foreign policy adviser.