Trump addresses Russia accusations, business dealings in post-election press conference
President-elect Donald Trump continued to fire back at unverified reports that Russia had compromising information on his personal and financial dealings Wednesday, accusing intelligence agencies of taking “one last shot at me” by leaking what he called “fake news” to the public.
“Russia just said the unverified report paid for by political opponents is ‘A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE,’” Trump wrote early Wednesday on Twitter. “Very unfair!”
“Russia has never tried to use leverage over me,” he continued. “I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!”
Dmitri Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, said earlier Wednesday that “the Kremlin has no compromising dossier on Trump,” adding that reports from CNN and several outlets were “nothing but an absolute fantasy.”
“This is a clear attempt to damage our bilateral relations,” Peskov said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Truly, there are those who whip up this hysteria, who will break their necks to support this ‘witch hunt.’”
CNN reported Tuesday that both Trump and President Barack Obama were given information that Russia had collected damaging allegations against the president-elect in briefings last week, and that the FBI was trying to verify the allegations.
But Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway said Tuesday that the president elect “said he’s not aware” of being briefed on reports that Russia had compromising information on him. Trump initially criticized the reports Tuesday night as “fake news” and “a total political witch hunt.”