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Donald Trump cites Kremlin statement to deny reports of Russia ties, asks, 'Are we living in Nazi Germany?'

Published January 11, 2017 8:19 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Donald Trump on Wednesday morning angrily denounced news reports about potentially compromising information Russia has allegedly gathered about him, citing denials from the Kremlin that it has collected any such intelligence.

The president-elect also charged via Twitter that his "crooked opponents" are trying to undermine his electoral victory. He accused the intelligence community of leaking the information to get in "one last shot at me," saying, "Are we living in Nazi Germany?"

Trump's comments follow the revelation Tuesday night that a classified report delivered to Trump and President Barack Obama last week, according to U.S. officials, included a section summarizing allegations that Russian intelligence services have compromising information about Trump's personal life and finances.



The officials said that U.S. intelligence agencies have not corroborated those allegations but believed the sources involved in the reporting were credible enough to warrant inclusion of their claims in the highly classified report on Russian interference in the presidential campaign.

Trump on Wednesday will hold his first news conference since July. He is certain to face questions about his relationship with Russia and the intelligence community's conclusion that the Kremlin attempted to sway the outcome of the election in his favor, primarily through disseminating information obtained from the hack of Democratic email systems.

Trump has cast doubt on the veracity of this conclusion, and he and his aides have aggressively pushed back against the idea that it had any effect on the election, calling the story a "witch hunt" being carried out by his political enemies.

Earlier Wednesday, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin called the allegations that Russia has collected compromising information about Trump an "absolute fantasy."

Soon after, Trump tweeted: "Russia just said the unverified report paid for by political opponents is 'A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE.' Very unfair!"

Most media organizations reported only on the existence of the report and that intelligence officials had included a summary of it in their briefings with Trump and Obama on Russia's attempts to sway the election. But BuzzFeed News published a document supposedly created by a former British intelligence official. The information it contains has not been verified.

Trump and other officials appeared to focus on BuzzFeed's publication of the report, denying that the document possesses any truth.

Trump said Wednesday morning that he had no relationship with Russia that could compromise him.

"Russia has never tried to use leverage over me," he said. "I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!"

He again emphasized his belief that his political opponents are trying to undermine his presidency.

"I win an election easily, a great 'movement' is verified, and crooked opponents try to belittle our victory with FAKE NEWS. A sorry state!" he said. "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?"

Speaking on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday, Trump adviser Reince Priebus called the BuzzFeed report "phony baloney garbage." He denied that Trump had engaged in compromising behavior in Russia and that Trump aide Michael Cohen had traveled to Prague to meet with Russian officials. Both allegations were contained in the document published by BuzzFeed.

"There was no craziness in Russia. There was no meeting in Prague," Priebus said. "It is not an intelligence document. Cohen has never been in Prague. And all of this stuff isn't even fit to print in the New York Times."

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The Washington Post's Greg Miller, Rosalind S. Helderman, Tom Hamburger and Steven Mufson contributed to this report.

 

 

 

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