In a lengthy piece on the so-called Steele Dossier, the Wall Street Journal acknowledges from the get-go that the bulk of the allegations—about President Trump and Russia and assembled by former British spy Christopher Steele—have been "widely discredited." But that's not what the paper wanted to dig into. Instead, it sought the source of those assertions and how they made their way to Steele in the first place. Alan Cullison and David Gauthier-Villars write that they have an answer: Olga Galkina. It's a conclusion reached via interviews, declassified documents, and the word of a former leading US national security official. The 40-year-old PR exec is linked to Steele via Igor Danchenko, whose name became public this summer when FBI documents related to the report were declassified. He was identified as a researcher for Steele, and told the FBI that "Source 3" had a "vast network" and was the primary contributor to the dossier.
As for the connection between the two, the Journal reports Danchenko and Galkina were school-age friends in Russia. Among the allegations Galkina reportedly handed him: that the company Webzilla had a heavy hand in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, and that Russian internet entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev, who owns Webzilla's parent company, was forced by the Russians to lend his hacking expertise. But the Journal also found that Galkina had a pretty big bone to pick with Webzilla's parent company, XBT. In mid-2015 she took a job in Cyprus with an XBT affiliate. By August 2016, her manager went to police and said she was regularly late to work and sometimes seemed drunk; he said an acquaintance of hers threatened his life. She was fired in November 2016, and apparently pointed a finger at Webzilla and Gubarev just weeks later. (Read the full story here.)