Trump lashes out over ‘phony’ Russia dossier claims
Donald Trump attacked the media and US intelligence agencies on Wednesday as he denied explosive allegations about his ties with Russia, while admitting for the first time that Moscow had likely meddled in the US election.
During his first press conference in six months, the US president-elect focused his attention on the dossier made public on Tuesday claiming that his aides colluded with the Kremlin to win the US election, and that Russia has compromising information on Trump.
The 70-year-old angrily accused CNN of being "fake news" and slammed BuzzFeed as "a failing pile of garbage" after it published the dossier with the allegedly incriminating material, drawn up by a former British intelligence agent hired to do "opposition research" on Trump.
"It's all fake news. It's phony stuff. It didn't happen," he said, referring to allegations of lurid behavior in a Moscow hotel room.
"It was a group of opponents that got together, sick people, and they put that crap together," Trump said.
Trump, who is only nine days away from holding office, also suggested that the information in the dossier may have been released by the intelligence agencies, which would be a "tremendous blot on their record," he said.
"That's something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do," he said, explaining an earlier tweet in which he asked: "Are we living in Nazi Germany?"
Trump dodged specific questions about whether his campaign had contacts with Russian intelligence, instead tearing into reporters whose outlets reported on the allegations of the existence of compromising material.
|The memos, which had been circulating in Washington for months, describe sex videos involving prostitutes filmed during a 2013 visit by Trump to a luxury Moscow hotel, supposedly as a potential means for blackmail.
"I'm not going to give you a question. You are fake news," he said to a CNN reporter, igniting a fresh raft of questions about his respect for constitutional guarantees about the free press.
The US intelligence community concluded Moscow interfered in the November election in a bid to tip the race in Trump's favor.
But intelligence chiefs last week presented America's incoming 45th president, as well as current President Barack Obama, with a two-page synopsis on the potentially embarrassing but unsubstantiated allegations involving Russia, according to CNN and The New York Times.
Even before the new allegations surfaced, Democrats and Trump's Republican allies had become increasingly uneasy about Russia's role in the election, with calls for an independent investigation growing.
The Kremlin has dismissed the dossier as a "total fake" aimed at damaging bilateral ties.
Without corroborating its contents, BuzzFeed published a 35-page dossier of memos on which the synopsis reportedly presented to Trump is based.
The memos, which had been circulating in Washington for months, describe sex videos involving prostitutes filmed during a 2013 visit by Trump to a luxury Moscow hotel, supposedly as a potential means for blackmail.
They also suggest Russian officials proposed lucrative deals in order to win influence over the real estate magnate.
"The Kremlin does not have compromising information on Trump," Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
Trump refused to comment on his classified briefing but said he had seen the information "outside of that meeting."
Without delineating the specific allegations in the memos, Trump denied engaging in any questionable behavior during visits to Russia.
"In those rooms, you have cameras in the strangest places," he said. "You'd better be careful or you'll be watching yourself on nightly television."