MI6 officer behind Russia-Trump dossier attacks US president after prolonged silence
Former MI6 officer Christopher Steele has ended 18 months of silence to take a veiled swipe at Donald Trump.
Mr Steele, the man behind the Russian dossier on the US president, has highlighted the importance of speaking "truths to power", which could be viewed as a reference to the allegations he made about collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin in the run-up to the US presidential election in 2016.
Writing to the editor of Vanity Fair after being chosen to feature on its list of the 100 most influential people in the media, politics, entertainment and finance, Mr Steele said: "In these strange and troubling times, it is hard to speak unpalatable truths to power, but I believe we all still have a duty to do so.
“I salute those on your list who have had the courage to speak out over the last year, often at great personal cost.”
He went on to slam the current United States government as “so distorted and one-sided”.
Mr Steele made headlines after compiling a dossier into allegations of a Russian conspiracy to help Mr Trump into the White House. Its contents were deemed so sensitive that Mr Steele shared it with US and British intelligence.
The US president denies any collusion with Russia.
Vanity Fair’s list was topped by Robert Mueller, a former FBI director who is leading a special inquiry into Russia. Mr Trump did not make the list, but Russian president Vladimir Putin ranked at number 58.