WASHINGTON — Russian intelligence believed it had Donald Trump “over a barrel” during the 2016 presidential campaign.
That’s what lawmakers were told this week by a senior Justice Department lawyer during a private interview.
The official, Bruce Ohr, says he learned that information during a July 2016 breakfast with former British spy Christopher Steele. Steele conducted Democratic-funded research into Trump’s ties to Russia during the campaign.
Trump and Republican lawmakers have attacked Steele’s research as phony and have sought to discredit him and Ohr.
The details of the exchange were confirmed to The Associated Press by multiple people. They weren’t authorized to discuss it and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Steele was attributing the information to a former senior Russian intelligence official. It’s unclear if the official spoke directly to Steele.