NEW YORK, NY – Financial analyst and political advisor Morgan Ortagus, who was a guest co-host on the “The View” this Tuesday, got into it with guest Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) over what she claimed to be his “diminished” credibility over his early support of the now-debunked Steele Dossier and his continual spreading of the disinformation it presented about former President Donald Trump.
Ortagus, who served as spokesperson for the United States Department of State from 2019 to 2021, told Schiff – who was appearing on the talk show to promote a new book – that he had been responsible for essentially spreading Russian disinformation by embracing the contents of the infamous dossier as fact.
“You defended, promoted and even read into the congressional record the Steele dossier,” Ortagus said. “We know last week the main source of the dossier was indicted by the FBI for lying about most of the key claims in that dossier. Do you have any reflections on your role in promoting this to the American people?”
Schiff, instead of answering the question, admitted that the contents of the dossier were fabricated, and called upon those responsible to be arrested and charged.
“Well, first of all, whoever lied to the FBI or lied to Christopher Steele should be prosecuted, and they are,” Schiff said. “And unlike in the Trump administration, if they’re convicted, they should go to jail and not be pardoned.”
The Steele Dossier was created by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who was hired by Fusion GPS – acting as a surrogate for law firm Perkins Coie on behalf of the Democratic National Committee – during the 2016 election to dig up dirt on Trump.
However, last week Igor Danchenko – a Russian citizen living in the U.S. who was the main source for information for the dossier – was arrested and charged with five counts of lying to FBI agents.
“You may have helped spread Russian disinformation yourself for years by promoting this,” Ortagus said to Schiff. “I think that’s what Republicans and what people who entrusted you as the intel committee chair are so confused about your culpability in all this.”
“I completely disagree with your premise,” Schiff shot back. “It’s one thing to say allegations should be investigated, and they were. It’s another to say that we should have foreseen in advance that some people were lying to Christopher Steele, which is impossible, of course, to do.”
Schiff went on to claim that the Steele Dossier, despite now being discredited, nonetheless launched a series of investigations into Donald Trump, and that the “misconduct” that was uncovered was in no way “diminished by the fact that people lied to Christopher Steele.”
“No I think just your credibility is,” Ortagus replied.