About the dossier
The dossier is a collection of memos that were initially intended as political opposition research, sources tell CNN. Steele was hired in the summer of 2016 by a Washington firm that was already collecting opposition research about Trump. The project was initially funded during the GOP primaries by anti-Trump Republicans, but Democrats started picking up the tab once Trump became the presumptive nominee in the spring.
About the meeting
CNN has learned that the FBI and the US intelligence community last year took the Steele dossier more seriously than the agencies have publicly acknowledged. Ever since the dossier came to light in January, Trump and his allies have repeatedly insisted that it is a complete work of fiction. He told The New York Times this summer that the dossier "was totally made-up stuff."