New book claims NZ spies know Trump colluded with Russia

  • 03/12/2017

New Zealand spies knew about US President Donald Trump's collusion with Russia, a new book has claimed. 

Luke Harding is a Guardian journalist and author of Collusion, a new book exploring the US President's ties with Russia.

According to the book, Five Eyes intelligence partners - including New Zealand's Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) - were monitoring the meetings between Trump associates and Russian agents preceding the US election. 

Five Eyes, often abbreviated as FVEY, is an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

"This information would have been shared with New Zealand's spooks, and they will have a clearer picture, privately, of what degree Trump colluded," Harding claims.

"New Zealand does not use its position in the Five Eyes to monitor US domestic political matters," GCSB director General Andrew Hampton said, according to NZME.

Mr Trump's possible collusion with Russia extends back decades, according to MI6 Russia intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who helped Harding extensively with his investigation. 

He reportedly told Mr Steele to "follow the sex and money", claiming Trump may have been "cultivated" as a Russian contact as early as 1977. 

'Cultivation' in this sense often takes the form of the potential contact being showered in alcohol, beautiful woman and gifts, all the while being secretly recorded, Harding writes. 

Mr Steele was the author of a dossier leaked earlier this year suggesting Mr Trump was being blackmailed by the Russians.

Despite the accusation in the book, Harding doesn't believe Mr Trump's alleged involvement with Russia will end his term early, saying he believes the real estate mogul will "tough out" his four years in office.