Politico

Trump: 'Russia has never tried to use leverage over me'

Written by Lisa

President-elect Donald Trump vehemently denied that Russia has compromising material on him or that he has any personal connection to the country, tweeting on Wednesday morning that “Russia has never tried to use leverage over me.”

CNN reported Tuesday night that both Trump and President Barack Obama had been briefed on unverified intelligence suggesting that Russia had actively conspired with the president-elect’s campaign and also possessed salacious personal information about him. BuzzFeed later published what is believed to be the dossier containing that intelligence, cautioning that it is unverified and contains some errors.

Trump shot back in all caps on Twitter Tuesday night, characterizing the reports as “FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!” Wednesday morning, with his first press conference since July just hours away, Trump again took to his preferred social media platform to cite Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov, “Russia just said the unverified report paid for by political opponents is ‘A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE.’ Very unfair!”

“Russia has never tried to use leverage over me,” Trump wrote on Twitter in a subsequent Wednesday morning post, contesting the intelligence dossier’s specific allegations. “I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!”

Trump’s Wednesday morning comment seemingly cited Peskov’s remarks Wednesday, in which he denied that Russia had collected compromising information on Trump or his 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton. He dismissed the reports from CNN, BuzzFeed and elsewhere as “complete fabrication and utter nonsense.”

“It is an obvious attempt to harm our bilateral relations,” Peskov said, adding “In English, it is called pulp fiction. Surely, we should react to it with the same sense of humor.”

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