(…) Speaking to students at Oxford University in England, he described the probe into Russian interference as having failed to do any “drilling down into financial networks and leverage,” which he said was “the way Russian influence works.”
His appearance at the Oxford Union, a 200-year-old debating society, was held in private but attended by The Daily Beast.
Steele said he had been interviewed by Robert Mueller’s team probing potential collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and the Russian government for “two whole days” but said: “I was surprised that very little of what I had discussed with them appeared in the final report.”
He criticized the report for being “too narrow” and failing to follow up on crucial evidence. “There were many things about the report that were good… but other (aspects) that were not so good,” he said.
Steele said the fact that “a number of witnesses—including for instance, Donald Trump Jr.” had avoided being interviewed “wasn’t great.”
The former head of the Russia desk at Britain’s MI6 said it was no surprise that Trump did not appreciate the work of the secret service. “Trump himself doesn’t like intelligence because its ground truth is inconvenient for him,” he said.
Steele also attacked the U.S. Department of Justice’s inspector general report on the Russia probe, which criticized the FBI’s interactions with him, when The Daily Beast asked him about its findings.
Steele described having cooperated with the inquiry over “4 to 5 months” but he said he had seen some “very bad qualities” from U.S. officials, whom he accused of acting in “bad faith.” (Read more: The Daily Beast, 3/06/2020) (Archive)