WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) helped fund research for a controversial dossier about U.S. President Donald Trump's alleged ties to Russia, according to U.S. media.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Marc Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained a private research firm called Fusion GPS in April 2016 to probe Trump's background.
The Clinton campaign and the DNC funded the firm's efforts through the end of October 2016, days before the Election Day on Nov. 8, according to the report.
In response, the DNC issued a statement Tuesday evening, distancing its current leadership from Fusion GPS.
"Tom Perez and the new leadership of the DNC were not involved in any decision-making regarding Fusion GPS, nor were they aware that Perkins Coie (an international law firm) was working with the organization," said the statement.
"But let's be clear, there is a serious federal investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, and the American public deserves to know what happened," the statement said.
Perez is the DNC chair, and Elias is the chair of Perkins Coie's political law practice.
The 35-page dossier created by the firm contains salacious unverified allegations against Trump.
In August, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders cast blame on Russia and Democrats for the "phony" dossier, while an attorney for Fusion GPS said the firm is "proud" of the claims in the dossier.
Fusion GPS's research on Trump began during the Republican presidential primaries, when a still unknown GOP donor paid for the firm to investigate the real estate magnate's background.