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Trump rejects new claims that Russia has 'damaging details about him'

Donald Trump has decried as a ‘political witch hunt’ US media reports that Russian intelligence agencies have obtained personally compromising material related to him

11 January 2017, 9:03am
Donald Trump has decried new claims that Russia has compromising material on him
Donald Trump has decried new claims that Russia has compromising material on him
US President-elect Donald Trump has flouted claims that Russian intelligence had personally compromising material on the president-elect himself.

According to two US officials, classified documents that the heads of four US intelligence agencies presented Trump last week included claims that Russian intelligence operatives have compromising information about him.

The claims, which one called "unsubstantiated," were reportedly contained in a two-page memo appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election that US intelligence officials presented to Trump and President Barack Obama last week.

According to the Guardian newspaper, an official in the US administration described the source who wrote the intelligence report as consistently reliable, meticulous and well-informed, with a reputation for having extensive Russian contacts.

Trump responded on Tuesday evening in a tweet calling the reports: "FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!"

One of the officials said the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other US agencies are continuing to investigate the credibility and accuracy of the claims.

As well as the allegations of a personal nature, the media also reports allege secret communications between the Trump presidential campaign and Moscow.

Some of the reports in the document – which are dated from 20 June to 20 October last year –predicted events that happened after they were sent, the Guardian added. One report, dated June 2016, claims that the Kremlin has been cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for at least five years, with the aim of encouraging “splits and divisions in western alliance”.

The reports were said to be attached to a wider classified report into alleged interference by Russia into the US election. But there has been nothing said publicly by the US intelligence community to support these unsubstantiated claims.

In recent weeks, Trump has been under pressure to concur with the findings of US spy agencies who say Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic Party emails during the presidential campaign.

They say the order came from the Kremlin to sway the election for Trump and away from his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. However, Trump has so far failed to explicitly agree with the conclusions of the intelligence services.

Russia has denied any involvement in the hacks and accused the US of conducting a witch hunt.