Trump addresses Russia accusations, business dealings in post-election press conference
President-elect Donald Trump promised he would have a “full report on hacking” within 90 days, amid reports that Russians had hacked the U.S. election and possessed a dossier of unverified personal and financial information about him which became public earlier this week.
Trump, in a series of tweets Friday morning, again blamed politically motivated critics and the intelligence community for publicizing the unverified allegations, as well as leaking reports that intelligence officials had presented information to him on the dossier.
“It now turns out that the phony allegations against me were put together by my political opponents and a failed spy afraid of being sued,” Trump wrote early Friday morning. “Totally made up facts by sleazebag political operatives, both Democrats and Republicans - FAKE NEWS!”
CNN first reported Tuesday that intelligence officials had informed Trump of allegations that Russian operatives had damaging information, which Buzzfeed then published in a 35-page unverified document shortly thereafter. Trump called out both outlets for spreading “fake news” in a heated press conference Wednesday, and referenced Russia’s denial via a presidential spokesman that they had gathered any such information.
In Friday’s tweets, the president-elect again cited the Kremlin’s denial that Russia had compiled any dossier of compromising information —“Russia says nothing exists.”
Trump’s tweets also took another swipe at the intelligence community, which he had blamed Wednesday for allowing such information to “leak” to the media. Outgoing director of national intelligence James Clapper had called Trump Wednesday night to reassure him that he did not think the leaks came from the intelligence community, though it appeared from Trump’s tweets Friday that he still believed intelligence shared some blame for the report.
Trump also attacked former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign for “complaining” about the FBI’s handling of an investigation into her emails while she was secretary of state. The Justice Department’s inspector general said Thursday that he would investigate FBI director James Comey’s actions regarding the case during the election cycle, including Comey’s decision to call her actions “extremely careless” in July and a letter to Congress that suggested he might reopen the case days before the election.