Put simply, Trump is wrong about the triggering event. The Steele dossier did not launch the FBI’s investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The dossier was used, to some extent, to persuade a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court to authorize surveillance of Page. But it was the actions of another Trump campaign adviser — George Papadopoulos — that actually started the investigation.
The federal government started looking into Russian election involvement in July 2016 based on information from Papadopoulos. This was confirmed by Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee.
“The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok,” the House Intelligence Committee’s GOP members wrote in a Feb. 2 memo.