In a new excerpt of Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) memoir published in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, the senator reveals how he got his hands on the now-infamous Steele dossier that claimed President Donald Trump has been completely compromised by the Russian government.
According to McCain, it was a retired British diplomat -- former U.K. ambassador to Russia Andrew Wood -- who gave him a copy of Steele's dossier, which he compiled throughout 2016 as part of his work with private intelligence firm Fusion GPS.
McCain says that he could not independently verify any of the allegations contained in the dossier -- but he was nonetheless disturbed enough by them to pass them on to then-FBI Director James Comey.
"I had an obligation to bring to the attention of appropriate officials unproven accusations I could not assess myself and which, were any of them true, would create a vulnerability to the designs of a hostile foreign power," McCain writes. "I discharged that obligation, and I would do it again. Anyone who doesn’t like it can go to hell."
Later in the excerpt, McCain explains how Putin's election meddling to help Trump win fits in with his broader strategy of undermining Western democracy.
"He is exploiting the openness of our society and the increasingly acrimonious political divisions consuming us," McCain writes. "He wants to widen those divides and paralyze us from responding to his aggression. He meddled in one election, and he will do it again because it worked and because he has not been made to stop."