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Photo: Mark Makela / Getty Images

Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson told Senate Judiciary Committee staffers in August that the FBI had independently received information from an Trump campaign insider that led them to find some of the allegations in former MI6 agent Christopher Steele's Trump-Russia dossier credible. That revelation comes from a transcript of his testimony to the committee released unilaterally today its ranking member, Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Why it matters: If true, that information — which Simpson testified Steele told him after a meeting with the FBI in Rome in July 2016 — would significantly bolster the credibility of the controversial dossier, which has become a sort of partisan football in the ongoing Trump-Russia battle in Washington.

An excerpt from the relevant section (on page 174 of the 312-page transcript):

Q. You said that [Steele] told you of the meeting with the FBI in Rome in mid or late September, that he "gave them a full briefing"?
A. A debrief I think is what he probably said, they had debriefed him. I don't remember him articulating the specifics of that. You know, my understanding was that they would have gotten into who his sources were, how he knew certain things, and, you know, other details based on their own intelligence. Essentially what he told me was they had other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source and that -- that they -- my understanding was that they believe Chris at this point -- that they believed Chris's information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization.

When asked if he knew who the Trump campaign source was, Simpson declined to answer on the basis of "security, " adding, "There are some things I know that I just don't feel comfortable sharing because obviously it's been in the news a lot lately that people who get in the way of the Russians tend to get hurt."

Simpson did clarify that, based on what Steele told him, the Trump insider source was not a source for Steele and was someone independent of Steele's sources:

I mean, I don't think this implicates any of the issues to say I think it was a voluntary source, someone who was concerned about the same concerns we had...It was someone like us who decided to pick up the phone and report something.

Go deeper

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker will not seek re-election in 2022

Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker (R) speaking during a press conference in November 2021. Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), a moderate who typically ranks as one of the nation's most popular governors, said Wednesday that he and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito (R) will not seek third terms in 2022.

Why it matters: The decision leaves the gubernatorial race wide open and will likely affect multiple down-ballot races next year. Baker was expected to be the front-runner had he joined the race.

4 hours ago - Health

CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers

Travelers with their luggage arrive at a COVID-19 testing location at the airport in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 23, 2021. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday night that it is working to impose stricter testing requirements for international travelers due to the spread of the new Omicron variant.

The big picture: The new rules would require all international travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to show a negative test taken a day before their flight to the U.S. Currently, the CDC says fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to show a test taken no more than three days before their departure, AP reports.

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.