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Democrat senator texted with Russian lobbyist - and it was about the Trump dossier

The office of Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) confirmed a Fox News report that he had texted with the lobbyist for a Russian oligarch in order to contact Christopher Steele, the author of the controversial "Trump dossier." (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Fox News exclusively reported that the network had obtained texts from a Democratic senator to a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch about the infamous "Trump dossier" in May 2017.

Here's what the Senator texted:

According to the report, the exchange was an attempt by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, to contact Christopher Steele, the author of the Trump dossier.

Steele responded through the lobbyist that he wanted a "bipartisan letter from Warner and the committee’s chairman, North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr, inviting him to talk to the Senate intelligence panel."

Warner appeared to want initially to maintain secrecy and keep the exchange from other members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Warner's office confirms, but objects

The report was confirmed by an aide to Warner, but a statement from him and Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) objected to the leak, which Fox News says was from a "Republican source."

“From the beginning of our investigation, we have taken each step in a bipartisan way, and we intend to continue to do so," Sens. Warner and Burr said in the statement. "Leaks of incomplete information out of context by anyone, inside or outside our committee, are unacceptable.”

Marco Rubio responds

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tweeted in response to the story, saying, "Sen. Warner fully disclosed this to the committee four months ago."

"Has had zero impact on our work," he concluded.

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