Ex-MI6 spy who exposed Trump-Russia ties reveals ‘spooky’ moment he knew he was being watched

31 October 2022, 14:06 | Updated: 4 November 2022, 17:11

Ex-MI6 spy who exposed Trump-Russia ties reveals ‘pretty spooky’ moment he knew he was being watched
Credit: Alamy. Picture: Alamy

Christopher Steele, author of the Steele dossier on links between Trump and Russia, sits down with veteran journalist John Sweeney for his new podcast on Global, Sweeney Talks. The ex-MI6 spy reveals more of life behind-the-scenes when the details of his report were leaked.

Former MI6 officer Christopher Steele shared some harrowing details of life behind the scenes after the leak of the Trump-Russia dossier in 2017.

Sitting down with John Sweeney, the ex-spy revealed he and his wife stayed in a “very secure, very expensive hotel” while on holiday in the Caribbean in 2018.

Mr Steele said: “On the penultimate night we were there, we’d been out on a boat round the bay out of sight of the hotel, snorkelling, and a Russian super yacht had been in the bay.

“We didn't realise it was a Russian yacht until we came back from our snorkelling expedition.”

He continued: “In the interim it was quite clear that they had come ashore and they had entered our hotel room, somehow managed to bribe their way in and left two wedding rings, a male and a female one, in my wife’s sponge bag in the bathroom.”

Mr Steele said it was a “pretty spooky thing to have to go through”.

Listen and subscribe to Sweeney Talks on Global Player

After 22 years at the Special Intelligence Service, he set up a private intelligence centre, Orbis.

It was here, John explains, that Mr Steele was asked to compile the report on what influence the Russians might have on Donald Trump, back when he was the Presidential Republican Candidate.

The damning dossier, published in full by BuzzFeed in 2017 a few days before Donald Trump took office, revealed several allegations of misconduct against the Former President, including that he had been kompromat in a hotel room in Moscow where prostitutes were urinated on and recorded.

Donald Trump has since rejected the document.

Mr Steele said: “It suddenly explodes onto the scene and it was leaked by somebody who shouldn’t have leaked it, and who we had every reason to trust wouldn’t leak it - they were a former US government official, a senior one.”

He added that he “didn’t go out for about ten days”, but also said this was not his first brush with less-than-comfortable publicity.

“We’d had a previous close shave in 2014 I think it was, when our investigation into FIFA, into particularly Russia’s bribing of FIFA officials to win the 2018 World Cup had kind of surfaced”, he explained.

He said this was a “trial run” of how he would cope if his name “appeared all over the media”.

“We went from zero profile to the front page of every newspaper in the world overnight. That’s an extremely rare thing to happen I would think.”

For the full story, listen to the rest of the podcast below.