Christopher Steele will never escape the shadow of Donald Trump’s “pee tape”, says Deborah Haynes on Sky News’s website. The former British spy compiled the secret dossier in which it was claimed that the Russians had a covert video of prostitutes urinating on Trump in a Moscow hotel room in 2013. The report was never meant to be published. When it was, in January 2017, Steele’s life under the radar was over.
He was subcontracted the work because he used to be MI6’s top Russia expert. During his posting to Moscow in the 1990s, he met Mikhail Gorbachev – “He asked me what I did in the embassy, and I said that I kept a close eye on him” – and thinks he was served tea in St Petersburg by a young Vladimir Putin.
When his dossier was published, Steele took his family into hiding. He didn’t think the Russians would come after him – but he wasn’t sure. Eighteen months later, on a Caribbean holiday, his wife found two mysterious wedding rings in her washing bag. Steele is convinced it was Russian agents with a message: “We know where you are. We can get to you.”
The existence of the “pee tape” has never been verified. Trump has scoffed at the claim, noting that he is too much of a germaphobe for that sort of thing. But Steele says he has a “pretty high” level of confidence that the Russians hold sex tapes featuring the former president – and the fact that none have emerged proves nothing. “If you had such a tape, you would lock it up and no one would ever get near it.”
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