An Obama State Department official has acknowledged he had regular contact with the author of the controversial anti-Trump dossier – coming forward in an apparent bid to blunt expected criticism from the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

In a Washington Post column posted late Thursday, Jonathan Winer detailed an extensive exchange of documents with ex-British spy Christopher Steele, a friend of his since 2009.

He said he shared “more than 100 of Steele’s reports with the Russia experts at the State Department” over a period of two years. These weren’t related to American politics – but he would later share information about the Trump dossier with the top levels of the Obama-era State Department.

Further, Winer said he shared separate Trump-related material passed on by a Clinton contact with Steele – filling in the blanks regarding an exchange that was mentioned earlier this week in a Senate memo. And he acknowledged that material, originally from Clinton-tied activist/journalist Cody Shearer, made its way to the FBI.

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