KEY POINTS

  • Ivanka Trump and ex-British spy Christopher Steele (of the Steele Dossier) have known each other since 2007
  • Both have met many times to discuss business deals
  • Both were apparently still on good terms when Steele wrote the Steele Dossier in 2016
     

President Donald Trump has long believed the FBI investigation into him in 2016 was triggered by the "Steele Dossier" written by Christopher Steele, the former head of the Russia Desk for British intelligence (MI6). Now comes news Steele might have had a "personal relationship" with Ivanka, Trump's favorite daughter.

While Steele did not reveal which Trump family member he had a connection with, documents and emails revealed link him to Ivanka. 

Ivanka was single at the start of this "relationship" in 2007. Judging from eyewitness and other accounts, this relationship appeared to have been purely business.

On the other hand, rumors now swirling in Washington D.C. claim the Steele-Ivanka friendship was still going strong when Steele wrote his now infamous report. Steele, a former British spy, admitted to writing this report from June to December 2016.

What has since been called the Steele Dossier alleges Trump presidential campaign members and Russian spies conspired to interfere in the 2016 presidential election to benefit Trump. It also alleges the Russians sought to damage Hillary Clinton's candidacy.

It's been revealed Steele told the Office of the Inspector General (IG) of the U.S. Department of Justice Department he had been “favorably disposed” toward the Trump family -- and consequently not biased against Trump -- because of his relationship with a certain Trump family member.

The IG report also said Steele gave this family member a sentimental gift, “a family tartan from Scotland," which is the homeland of Trump’s late mother.

ABC News reported Steele met Ivanka at a dinner in 2007 when he was running the Russia desk of MI6. Both are alleged to have remained in contact afterwards. Ivanka and Steele remained in touch after he retired from the spy service and his own firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, in 2010. They are also said to have exchanged emails but never worked together.

The revelation of the Ivanka-Steele relationship was an unintended offshoot of the report conducted by IG Michael Horowitz into alleged FBI spying into the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election. From all indications, the relationship was all-business.

ABC News said in 2008, Ivanka and Steele exchanged emails about meeting near Trump Tower. Both later met at Trump Tower. The IG report also mentions this same meeting. Emails exchanged in 2008 discussed dining together in New York at a restaurant blocks from Trump Tower.

At the time, Ivanka worked as an executive vice president at the Trump Organization. She was responsible for a range of foreign real estate projects. Some of her projects were in countries where Orbis said it had contacts. She and Steele seem to have discussed services Orbis might offer the Trump Organization to support its planned expansion into foreign markets.

christopher steele The FBI agreed to hire former MI6 agent Christopher Steele to pursue his investigation of allegations in the Trump dossier but the deal fell through. Above, a person stands behind textured glass at an address which has been linked by local media to Steele, Jan. 12, 2017. Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters