Retired CIA operative and CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd talks about British national Christopher Steele, author of the infamous Steele dossier, deciding to talk with U.S. officials about his part in the Trump-Russia investigation.
Mudd predicts things are going to get "ugly" when Attorney General Bill Barr concludes how the probe was initiated which will give the Trump White House "ammo."
Mudd said Steele is going to have a difficult time validating the dossier because doesn't have a second or third source to collaborate.
"I'm going to bet a paycheck when Steele gets in front of investigators and they say, how can you confirm to us that the information you acquired in that dossier is true, that he is not going to be able to answer whether he had a second or third source?" Mudd said Tuesday on 'CNN Tonight.'
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: The Judiciary Chairman, Nadler, rejecting the DOJ's demand to delay Barr's contempt vote next week. Nadler saying that he wants to negotiate with them, without those conditions. So what's this stall tactic here?
PHILIP MUDD, CNN: I think this stall tactic is to DOJ's advantage. They've got a couple of opportunities here. Going back to the difference between the law and politics, you can talk about documents all you want. I think most of the American people are sitting back, saying I don't really know what the heck you're talking about. There's one other issue nobody talks about, Don, that's important here. And that is eventually, the FBI and Department of Justice are going to conclude the investigations to how this investigation itself was initiated.
I'm going to predict to you that that is going to go ugly early. In other words, the Democrats have a clock ticking. If they can't get things underway before the Department of Justice says here's our report on how the investigation was initiated. They're in trouble because the Department of Justice is going to say when this thing got started about the Trump campaign, it was pretty ugly and then we're off the to races. The White House will have some real ammo.
Mudd on Christopher Steele's concern that he will be thrown under the bus after speaking to American officials:
LEMON: You said this reporting is going to go bad.
MUDD: Let me give you one term from the intelligence business: validation. So I'm investigating Don Lemon. I find a bunch of information from various individuals.
If you're conducting opposition research, somebody is paying me to find opposition information about Don Lemon. In the intelligence business, I've got to validate that. I need a second source, a third source. I need to confirm my information on the intel side of Don Lemon is accurate. I'm going to bet a paycheck when Steele gets in front of investigators and they say, how can you confirm to us that the information you acquired in that dossier is true, that he is not going to be able to answer whether he had a second or third source?
LEMON: But wasn't he just supposed to gather the information and then the intelligence community is supposed to figure out whether it's true or not?
MUDD: No, he's supposed to gather the information and then the Republicans or Democrats use it in a political ad. This is not an intelligence game, this is a political game.