The former British intelligence officer behind a dossier of lurid allegations about Donald Trump yesterday broke cover for the first time since his explosive claims were made public.
Christopher Steele, 52, appeared outside the offices of his firm Orbis Business Intelligence, in central London, to say he was returning to work.
Mr Steele had gone into hiding after his report was published in mid-January.
In a statement delivered on the steps of his Belgravia offices, the former MI6 agent said: “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.
“Just to add, I won’t be making any further statements or comments at this time.”
Mr Steele refused to answer any further questions.
The contents of his dossier became public on January 10 when the entire 35-page file was published by BuzzFeed.
The file detailed claims that Mr Trump’s team had multiple contacts with Russian officials during the election campaign, and that he had been cultivated by Moscow over a number of years as a possible presidential candidate, with the aim of encouraging splits within the West.
Among its more lurid allegations was a claim that the Russians held evidence of Mr Trump hiring prostitutes during a visit to Moscow to urinate on a hotel bed which he believed to have been slept in by Barack and Michelle Obama.
Mr Trump denounced the document as “fake news” and Russian president Vladimir Putin saying it contained “obvious fabrications”.
After being named as the author of the report by the Wall Street Journal Mr Steele fled his home in Surrey with his family, leaving his cats in the care of a neighbour.
Orbis is understood to have been hired to look into Mr Trump’s alleged links with Russia after sources in the country were blamed for hacking the Democrat National Committee website.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the company said: “Orbis Business Intelligence has an established track record of providing strategic intelligence, forensic investigation and risk consulting services to a broad client base.
“The nature of our business, and our high standards of professionalism, dictate that we would not disclose to the public information on any specific aspects of our work. We remain fully committed to the secure provision of our services to our clients and partners worldwide.
“We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude for the generous support we have received from clients and colleagues over recent weeks.”
The Trump administration has been rocked by a series of disclosures about links to Russia in the months since news of the dossier broke, with Michael Flynn forced to resign as national security adviser after giving misleading information about his meetings with Moscow’s ambassador before the inauguration.
Mr Steele has also been approached by the US Senate Intelligence Committee to testify in its investigation into the president’s alleged links with Russia, according to reports.