The former MI6 agent behind the explosive Donald Trump "dirty dossier" has broken his silence over the affair, nearly two months after being unmasked as its author.
Christopher Steele, 52, posed for photographs as he returned to work on Tuesday (7 March) at the offices of his business intelligence company Orbis in London.
Speaking publicly for the first time since his now-infamous dossier on President Trump was published by the media, he told Press Association: "I'm really pleased to be back here working again at the Orbis's offices in London today.
"I'm now going to be focusing my efforts on supporting the broader interests of our company here. I'd like to say a warm thank you to everyone who sent me kind messages and support over the last few weeks."
In an attempt to draw a line under the affair, he continued: "Just to add, I won't be making any further statements or comments at this time."
Steele, who worked as a spy in Moscow for 20 years, became the centre of international media attention after the contents of his 35-page dossier about Trump were published by BuzzFeed News on 10 January.
The unverified allegations suggested Trump had colluded with Russian intelligence before the US election to sabotage Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
Compiled for his Republican and Democrat opponents, it also claimed Trump had been compromised by Russia's FSB spy agency when he was secretly filmed with prostitutes at a hotel in Moscow.
After being unmasked as its author, Steele disappeared from his home in Surrey and hadn't been seen in public since.
Trump branded the dossier "fake news" and claimed it was a "political witch hunt". He said Steele was a "failed spy".
Russian President Vladimir Putin also rejected the dossier's claims.
Last week it was reported the FBI had at one point planned to pay Steele to continue his work investigating ties between Trump's election team and Russia – a deal which reportedly broke down due to media attention.
Steele founded Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd with his business partner Christopher Burrows, 58, after leaving MI6 in 2009.
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