Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Thursday his presidential campaign wasn’t involved in research behind the infamous dirty dossier – a day after President Donald Trump said the campaign’s identity will ‘probably’ be revealed.
Rubio got asked about the dossier amid a new round of intrigue over who paid for the research, after the Washington Post reported that Democratic lawyer Marc Elias hired a political intelligence firm, Fusion GPS, who in turn hired ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who compiled it.
It has long been reported that a Republican anti-Trump donor initially paid for the research that begat the dossier. But the person’s identity, or which campaign they might be connected to, has yet to be revealed.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, pictured here with Ivanka Trump, said the dirty dossier was not funded by his campaign
‘I don’t know who it was,’ Rubio told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer when asked about it point-blank.
Blitzer pressed on to confirm Rubio’s campaign never funded any of the ‘initial research.’
‘As far as whether it was my campaign. It wasn’t. I was running for president I was trying to win. If I had anything against Donald Trump that was relevant and credible and politically damaging I would have used it. I didn’t have it,’ Rubio said.
Rubio also put the onus of the dossier funding on the Democrats.
‘The one thing we do know is that this thing about the dossier you’re discussing, all those press accounts – and I’m just going of press accounts – they all make it abundantly clear that the work that Mr. Steele did on that dossier didn’t even start until April or May or June after the Republican primary was over. So that was the DNC and that was the Clinton campaign,’ he said.
President Donald Trump walks towards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017, for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md. and then on to Dallas. He said he had ‘one name’ of a Republican in mind who may have funded the dossier
President Trump, asked about the dossier Wednesday, called if fake news but also noted Republicans got it going.
‘Well, they say it began with the Republicans. I think I would know, but I won’t say. It’ll be determined. It’ll be determined,’ said Trump, who is able to get the highest level security briefings.
‘Look, Hillary would have never announced it was them, except for this great court case that’s going on where the judge was going to reveal it. So they figured, we’ll do it first,’ Trump said. ‘They’re very embarrassed by it. It’s a disgrace. Yes, it might have started with the Republicans early on in the primaries. I think I would know, but let’s find out who it is. I’m sure that will come out.’
Asked if he knew who those Republicans are, Trump said: ‘I think I would have, if I were to guess, I have one name in mind.’
As for that name, ‘It will probably be revealed,’ said Trump.
President Donald Trump calls on a reporter before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017, for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md. and then on to Dallas
Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who set-up Orbis Business Intelligence and compiled a dossier on Donald Trump, in London
Former Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was ‘not aware’ the DNC was funding research for the infamous dirty dossier of material on Donald Trump
Republicans who have denied funding the dirty dossier:
Sen. Marco Rubio
Sen. Rand Paul
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s Super PAC
Pro-Rubio Super PAC
Gov. John Kasich’s campaign manager
Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign manager
A former aide to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told DailyMail.com he had ‘no idea’ who funded the dossier.
Sen. Rand Paul said he didn’t fund the dossier, even as he hit Democrats for ‘whining’ about Russian election interference.
‘It might have been one of other primary candidates,’ Paul told Fox News, Newsmax reported. ‘There were 16 of them. All I can say it wasn’t me.
The New York Times reported that the funding came from a wealthy Republican donor immediately after BuzzFeed published the dossier, citing a person familiar with the matter.
Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign manager Ted Roe told the Washington Examiner nobody ever even ‘brought up’ the contents of the dossier, leading him to conclude the idea that a Republican was behidn it was ‘total BS.’
Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s campaign manager John Weaver told the Examiner, ‘No one associated with the Kasich campaign had anything to do with it.’
In January, after the BBC reported that a pro-Bush SuperPAC was behind the dossier, a lawyer for the PAC told Talking Points Memo it ‘had nothing to do with British Intelligence officers.’
Glenn Simpson, the former Wall Street Journal reporter who founded Fusion GPS refused in September Senate Judiciary testimony reveal in testimony who funded it, citing his First Amendment rights, Foreign Policy reported.