The Slatest

Devin Nunes Went to London to Get Dirt on Christopher Steele. Britain’s Spies Wouldn’t Meet With Him.

A close-up photo of Devin Nunes' face.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes in June.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Like any good espionage story, the Trump-Russia affair has featured numerous European shenanigans, from Clintonite Cody Shearer scurrying around Europe chasing damning information about Donald Trump to Michael Cohen’s maybe/maybe-not trip to Prague in 2016—and now, the Atlantic reports, House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes’ trip to London to try to learn more about former British spy and Trump dossier author Christopher Steele.

Nunes was looking for more information to back up the House Republicans’ assault on the credibility of Steele and their effort to reveal unsavory connections between him and officials in the FBI and Department of Justice, especially DOJ official Bruce Ohr, who is a central figure in the right-wing case against the Trump-Russia investigation. Unfortunately for Nunes, the Atlantic says, officials at MI6, MI5, and the Government Communications Headquarters (the British equivalent of the National Security Agency) didn’t want to meet with him.

“Those meetings did not pan out,” the Atlantic reported. “The people familiar with his trip [said] that officials at MI6, MI5, and GCHQ were wary of entertaining Nunes out of fear that he was ‘trying to stir up a controversy.’ ” Nunes instead met with Madeleine Alessandri, the deputy national security adviser for Theresa May.

Reuters reported that “representatives of the British agencies initially considered meeting with Nunes during the trip which took place in recent weeks, but that scheduling difficulties made it impossible.”

Two Nunes staffers traveled to the U.K. last year to try to interview Steele himself, but were similarly unsuccessful.

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