London: A former MI6 officer who is believed to have prepared a memo claiming that Russia has compromising material on US President-elect Donald Trump is now in hiding, the BBC said in a report on Thursday.
Christopher Steele has been widely named as the author of the memo -- which has been published in some US media -- that contains extensive allegations about Trump's personal life and his campaign's relationship with the Russian state.
Among the allegations are that Moscow has a video recording of Trump with prostitutes and damaging information about his business activities.
Steele, who runs a London-based intelligence firm, is believed to have left his home on either Tuesday or Wednesday, before he was publicly named, and was now "in hiding", the BBC report said.
It said that Steele had asked his neighbour to look after his cats.
MI6 officials considered Steele "extremely, highly regarded" and he was thought of as "competent".
Steele is believed to be a former member of the Secret Intelligence Service MI6 and is a director of Orbis Business Intelligence -- which describes itself as a leading corporate intelligence consultancy.
According to the report, Christopher Burrows, who is listed as a co-director of Orbis alongside Steele, refused to confirm or deny whether the firm had produced the memo on Trump.
The 35-page dossier on Trump -- which is believed to have been commissioned initially by Republicans opposed to the real-estate mogul -- has been circulating in Washington for some time.
But the allegations have not been independently substantiated or verified and some details have been challenged as incorrect by those who are mentioned.
Trump himself was briefed about the existence of the allegations by the US intelligence community last week but has since described them as "fake news" and "phoney stuff", accusing the American intelligence services of leaking the dossier.
Updated Date: Jan 12, 2017 19:06:12 IST