Trump slams 'Sneaky Dianne Feinstein' for releasing Fusion founder's testimony

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Dianne Feinstein who defied Republicans and released testimony a day earlier from an interview with the co-founder of Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned a dossier of allegations about Mr. Trump's ties to Russian Federation.

That's what the 84-year-old California lawmaker suggested when asked why she unilaterally released the testimony of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson before the Senate Judiciary Committee without telling committee chairman Chuck Grassley.

The author of the bogus Trump dossier was basically a "Boy Scout" who "doesn't sell baloney", the co-founder of Fusion GPS told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

There's much to unpack from the events that led up to the tweet and her new nickname, so let's get to it.

Feinstein has never ruled out the possibility of finding collusion between the campaign and Russians, although she said last month that Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing a separate federal probe, seems to be focusing on building "a case of obstruction of justice" against Trump for his firing of FBI Director James Comey.

The Senate committee has been probing how the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled allegations it received from a British ex-spy, Christopher Steele, who compiled a series of memorandums, later collected as a dossier, alleging that the Trump campaign coordinated with the Kremlin - a claim the president has repeatedly denied.

For the Federal Bureau of Investigation, it wasn't entirely new information, Simpson testified.

The dossier contained an unsubstantiated claim that Mr Trump was once filmed with prostitutes at a hotel in the Russian capital.

It was compiled by Christopher Steele, who had been head of the Russian Federation desk at Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, better known as MI6.

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In particular, the document alleged that the Russian government had collected compromising information about Trump, which has been denounced by the U.S. president and called a forgery by Moscow.

Simpson told investigators that Steele is "basically a Boy Scout, " saying he has worked with Steele on and off since 2009 and he knew him to be "a person who delivered quality work in very appropriate ways". Simpson acknowledged that he didn't like Trump as a candidate but said his job was to find facts, not to push an agenda.

LUCAS: We don't. Simpson doesn't say. Feinstein had the ability to release the transcripts as the top Democrat on the committee, and her staff helped conduct the interview with Simpson.

"People will be more reserved about cooperating", and voluntarily coming forward to interview, Grassley said.

The split between Feinstein and Grassley has widened in recent weeks.

In urging the committee to release the full transcript of his interview, Simpson has argued that Republicans are trying to obscure what happened in 2016.

Among the most startling statements made during Simpson's interview was when he said that "somebody's already been killed" as a result of the dossier's publication.

Steele briefed an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent in July 2016. So it made a lot of people, including us, concerned about what the heck was going on at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. If the Times story was accurate, the FBI must have renewed its interest in the investigation in the immediate aftermath of President Trump's surprise victory on election day the following week. Buzzfeed published the dossier in its entirety almost a year ago, which it said it obtained from a source it didn't identify.

"All we sort of wanted was for the government to do its job", Simpson said, "and we were concerned whether the information we had provided previously had ever, you know, risen to the leadership level of the Federal Bureau of Investigation".

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