Trump rejects allegation of dealings with Russia


NEW YORK: President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday flatly denied “phony” explosive allegations about ties with Russia and lurid behavior on a trip to Moscow that have tainted his election victory and threatened to engulf his presidency.
Just over a week before Trump takes office, the United States has been rocked by unsubstantiated claims that his aides colluded with the Kremlin to win the election — and that Russia has compromising sexual material on Trump.
“I think it s a disgrace that information would be let out,” Trump said, training fire on media outlets that published the allegations and the intelligence agencies who he suggested may have leaked it.
“It s all fake news. It s phony stuff. It didn t happen,” he said in his first press conference in nearly six months.
“It was a group of opponents that got together, sick people, and they put that crap together.”
It “was released by maybe the intelligence agencies, who knows, but maybe the intelligence agencies, which would be a tremendous blot on their record,” Trump said, later saying it was “disgraceful.”
On Twitter, he decried a political “witch hunt” against him and asked: “Are we living in Nazi Germany?”
The US intelligence community has concluded Moscow interfered in the November election in a bid to tip the race in Trump s favor.
Intelligence chiefs last week also presented America s incoming 45th president, as well as current President Barack Obama, with a two-page synopsis on the potentially embarrassing but unsubstantiated allegations involving Russia, according to CNN and The New York Times, who cited multiple unnamed US officials with knowledge of the meeting.
The Kremlin has dismissed the dossier — drawn up by a former British intelligence agent hired to do “opposition research” on Trump during the presidential campaign and published by US media outlet BuzzFeed — as a “total fake” aimed at damaging bilateral ties.
“It s frankly outrageous and highly irresponsible for a left-wing blog that was openly hostile to the president-elect s campaign to drop highly salacious and flat-out false information on the internet just days before he takes the oath of office,” he said, introducing Trump.
Trump later called BuzzFeed “a failing pile of garbage” and warned they would “suffer the consequences.”
“I have no dealings with Russia. I have no deals in Russia. I have no deals that could happen in Russia, because we ve stayed away. And I have no loans with Russia,” Trump then said.
Even before the allegations surfaced widely in US media on Tuesday, Trump s Republican allies have become increasingly uneasy about Russia s role in the election, with calls for an independent investigation growing.
The issue threatens to sap legitimacy from the Trump administration before it even enters the Oval Office.
Trump fanned the flames by again downplaying Russia s influence in the outcome of the election and defended his openness towards Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“As far as hacking, I think it was Russia, but I also think we ve been hacked by other countries, other people.”
“If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability, because we have a horrible relationship with Russia,” Trump said.
“I don t know that I m going to get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do. But there s a good chance I won t.” …Agencies


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