Trump denies Russian 'leverage' amid claims of compromising material
US President-elect Donald Trump has reacted furiously to allegations that Russia has compromising material on him, saying Moscow has 'never tried to use leverage on me'
In a series of Twitter posts, Trump accused intelligence agencies of taking "one last shot" at him by leaking the information. "Are we living in Nazi Germany?" he asked.
Trump slammed as "fake news" the reports that classified documents presented to him last week by the heads of four US intelligence agencies included claims that Russian intelligence operatives have compromising information about him.
Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to "leak" into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
The claims say his election campaign communicated with Moscow and also contain suggestions of prostitute use.
I win an election easily, a great "movement" is verified, and crooked opponents try to belittle our victory with FAKE NEWS. A sorry state!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
"Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!" Trump wrote in one of the Twitter posts.
Trump, due to hold his first news conference in nearly six months at 11:00am local time (5:00pm CET) today, pointed to the Kremlin's denials of the reports on the dossier that emerged late on Tuesday.
Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
"Russia just said the unverified report paid for by political opponents is 'A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE.' Very unfair!" he wrote on Twitter.
The Kremlin said on Wednesday it was "total nonsense" that Russian officials had assembled a file of compromising information on Trump.
Russia just said the unverified report paid for by political opponents is "A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE." Very unfair!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, said the allegations were "pulp fiction" and a "clear attempt to damage relations".
Reince Priebus, who will be Trump's White House chief of staff, called the Russian dossier report "phoney baloney garbage." He told NBC's "Today" show he had raised the matter with Trump. "He said it was 'total garbage and I'm keeping it clean,'" Priebus said.
The Republican President-elect has long said he hopes to improve ties with Moscow, but this effort will come under intense scrutiny after US intelligence agencies concluded that Russia used cyber attacks and other tactics to try to tilt the presidential election in his favour over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.