A conservative website funded by a billionaire supporter of Marco Rubio paid for the opposition research that eventually led to the salacious dossier about Donald Trump.
Paul Singer is the money behind the Washington Free Beacon and the publication and it first hired Fusion GPS to dig up information about Trump and other Republicans. The website disclosed the hire to the House Intelligence Committee on Friday, according to the New York Times.
"I was running for president. I was trying to win. If I had anything against Donald Trump that was relevant and credible and politically damaging, I would have used it. I didn't have it."
Wolf Blitzer asked, so you campaign never funded any of the initial research?"
"With GPS, that group?" Rubio replied. "Absolutely not."
New York-based Singer was a powerful backer of Rubio's in the presidential campaign and was an early victory for Rubio over Jeb Bush, who rushed out the gate and swallowed up tens of millions of dollars in contributions only to see Rubio and the field blow by him.
Singer was said to be unaware the Washington Free Beacon hired Fusion GPS.
UPDATE: Free Beacon statement:
"All of the work that Fusion GPS provided to the Free Beacon was based on public sources, and none of the work product that the Free Beacon received appears in the Steele dossier. The Free Beacon had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele. Nor did we have any knowledge of the relationship between Fusion GPS and the Democratic National Committee, Perkins Coie, and the Clinton campaign."