Political News

GOP rep.: President 'misinformed' on dossier claims

Posted October 27, 2017 2:43 p.m. EDT

— Rep. Sean Duffy said Friday that President Donald Trump was "probably misinformed" when he said the infamous dossier on him was initially funded by Republicans.

The Wisconsin Republican's claim is in contrast with widespread reporting on the matter.

"That's not been confirmed," Duffy told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Friday.

But CNN, citing multiple sources, reported months ago that the effort to gather opposition research that ultimately resulted in the dossier was first funded by groups and donors supporting Republican opponents of Trump during the GOP primaries.

This week, CNN reported that the effort was taken over by Democrats when Trump won his party's nomination. A lawyer paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party then solicited the firm Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Trump during the campaign. That firm, in turn, hired former UK intelligence officer Christopher Steele, whose memos make up the infamous dossier.

Blitzer challenged Duffy's claims by pointing to when Trump recently said he thinks he knows who the Republican is, but Duffy interjected: "He's probably misinformed."

"Are you saying the President of the United States is wrong when he says a Republican initially made that contact?" Blitzer later asked.

"Yeah, he may be," Duffy responded.

He later said: "The only person that has information about who that Republican client would be, would be Fusion GPS."

"So the President might have heard news reports and speculated on who that could be, but I'm going to wait and reserve judgment on whether there was a Republican there or not," Duffy said.

A message left with Duffy's office asking if he had any evidence to back up his claim was not immediately returned.

Clinton and other high-level Democrats have denied having knowledge of the dossier prior to its publishing.

Trump said on Wednesday that the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee's involvement with the dossier was a "very sad commentary on politics in this country."