Officials verify Russian dossier claim diplomat who fled US to hide election interference was spy: report
Mikhail Kulagin (screen grab)

U.S. officials have reportedly verified a part of a dossier written by former British intelligence agent, which claims that a Russian diplomat who fled the U.S. during the 2016 presidential election was in fact a spy.

Sources told BBC's Paul Wood that the officials had "verified" that Mikhail Kulagin was a known Russian intelligence agent.

A dossier about then-candidate Donald Trump's connections to Russian that was compiled by former British MI6 agent Christopher Steele said that Kulagin "had been withdrawn from Washington at short notice because Moscow feared his heavy involvement in the US presidential election operation… would be exposed in the media there."

Although the dossier was commissioned by Trump's political opponents, the explosive claims in the document were eventually provided to U.S. law enforcement, lawmakers and the media.

Wood's source said that officials were suspicious of Kulagin because he claimed to be a diplomat but was never seen performing the duties of the job.

"Nobody had met him," a former official told Wood. "It's classic. Just classic [of Russian intelligence]."

Wood was also informed by a source that Steele's dossier on Trump "was found to be of value by the people whose job it was to look at Russia every day."

Read Paul Wood's entire report here.