Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm whose Democrat-financed Russia dossier fueled an FBI investigation into Donald Trump, pitched other stories about the Republican presidential candidate to Washington reporters, including an attempt to tie him to a convicted pedophile who was once buddies with former President Bill Clinton.
Journalist sources told The Washington Times that Fusion founder Glenn Simpson pushed the idea of a close relationship between Mr. Trump and Jeffrey Epstein, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting sex from an underage girl.
The Trump-Epstein link appears purely social, far short of Mr. Clinton’s 20-plus plane rides on Epstein’s “Lolita Express” private jet around the globe in the early 2000s.
Ken Silverstein, the reporter who ultimately wrote an Epstein-Trump report, confirmed to The Times that Fusion had sourced the story. Mr. Silverstein, founder and editor of WashingtonBabylon.com who wrote the story for Vice.com, defended Mr. Simpson as a solid source of information that must first be confirmed.
For years, Fusion GPS has been an influential hidden hand in Washington, with entree into the city’s most powerful news bureaus.
Behind the scenes, the private intelligence firm run by former Wall Street Journal reporters was particularly active last year working to defeat Mr. Trump. Fusion leader Mr. Simpson, who railed against sleazy opposition research as a reporter, harbored a strong desire to bring down the builder of hotels with, well, opposition research.
Fusion representatives met with New York Times reporters during the Democratic National Convention in July 2016.