One of President Trump’s most trusted confidants, a security chief who served as his sounding board for nearly two decades, will face questions from congressional investigators next week about Trump’s 2013 trip to Moscow, according to people familiar with their plans.
The excursion is at the center of some of the most salacious allegations in a now-famous dossier, which contains unverified charges that Trump has vehemently disputed.
The House Intelligence Committee has called former longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller to appear for an interview Tuesday as part of its probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Investigators plan to press Schiller about allegations in the 35-page dossier that Russian officials obtained compromising information about Trump’s personal behavior when he visited Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, according to people familiar with the investigation.
The document, produced by a former British spy working for a firm hired by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign, is a compilation of claims about coordination between Russian nationals and the Trump campaign amid a Kremlin-directed effort to tip the election in Trump’s favor.
Among them is the assertion that Russian officials had obtained “kompromat” to hold over Trump — including evidence that Trump hired prostitutes at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton.
Trump has called the allegations a “disgrace” and said the dossier is “totally fake and made up — it’s like a novel.” He and his allies have pounced on the recent revelation that Clinton’s campaign helped finance the research, saying it proves the document is a partisan attack.
The president has indicated that Schiller will say that the Moscow allegations are false. “Keith was there,” the president told the New York Times in July. “He said, ‘What kind of crap is this?’ I went there for one day for the Miss Universe contest, I turned around, I went back.”
Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer overseeing Russia matters, said Friday that “the White House is delighted that Mr. Schiller will have an opportunity to shed some light on these scandalous allegations, and we are sure that his testimony will be of great interest to all fair-minded people.”
Schiller will likely be questioned about the specifics in the dossier, as well as whether he or Trump came into contact with any Russian individuals that might have given the Russian government potentially compromising information about the future president.