A recent New Yorker piece that profiled former British spy Christopher Steele claimed Russia tried to block Mitt Romney from becoming secretary of state.
According to the New Yorker article, Steele, who penned a dossier that has become a centerpiece in "the current federal investigation into President Donald Trump’s possible ties to Russia," is believed to have spoken with special counsel Robert Mueller about a memo he wrote in November 2016, which included a claim about Romney.
The memo cited “a senior Russian official" as its source.
“The official said that he was merely relaying talk circulating in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but what he’d heard was astonishing: people were saying that the Kremlin had intervened to block Trump’s initial choice for secretary of state, Mitt Romney,” according to the New Yorker.
As the Deseret News previously reported, Romney was once a favorite to become secretary of state.
According to the New Yorker, the memo states that "the Kremlin, through unspecified channels, had asked Trump to appoint someone who would be prepared to lift Ukraine-related sanctions, and who would cooperate on security issues of interest to Russia, such as the conflict in Syria.
“If what the source heard was true, then a foreign power was exercising pivotal influence over U.S. foreign policy — and an incoming president,” the New Yorker reported.
Read the entire piece at The New Yorker.
KSL-TV asked Romney about the claim from The New Yorker at an event on Monday.
"I don't know what the president's process was in determining his secretary of state, or why he chose to ask me to come in, or decided not to have me as his secretary of state. So, I really can't comment on the Steele dossier in that regard," Romney said.
He added, "I do believe it's pretty clear that I'm not a fan of Vladimir Putin's and I wouldn't be surprised if he's not a fan of mine either."