President-elect Donald Trump has vehemently denied the allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin's government has compromised him with intelligence over his finances and personal behavior. The fallout of the story led to a heated exchange between Trump and a reporter during his first press conference as president-elect.
On Jan. 10, it was revealed that the U.S. intelligence community has given both President Barack Obama and Trump a two-page summary of a dossier compiled by an anonymous person claiming to be a British intelligence agent with deep sources in Russia. The dossier had alleged that the Russian government had been cultivating Trump as an asset for years, using potentially explosive information it had garnered about him as blackmail.
While CNN initially broke the story, a copy of the dossier was published shortly after by Buzzfeed News. The report alleged that the had been caught committing perverse sexual acts by Russian intelligence and that his campaign had known about the Putin government's alleged efforts to damage the campaign of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Trump responded on his Twitter account, blasting the report as false: "FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!"
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On Jan. 11, the president-elect held his first press conference since July. Taking questions on the bombshell accusations, Trump asserted that it was all a fabrication.
"It's all fake news," Trump said, according to CNN. "It's phony stuff. It didn't happen. It was gotten by opponents of ours … It was a group of opponents who got together -- sick people, and they put that crap together."
Trump added that the allegations "should never have been released, but I read what was released and I think it's a disgrace."
During the press conference, Trump singled out CNN for breaking the story and Buzzfeed News for publishing the unverified dossier.
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"As far as CNN going out of their way to build it up … It's a disgrace what took place," Trump said, according to The Daily Beast. "It's a disgrace, and I think they ought to apologize to start."
Trump also called Buzzfeed News a "failing pile of garbage."
When CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta attempted to ask a follow-up question, Trump refused, telling him: "Your organization is terrible."
Earlier in the same press conference, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer blasted the report, noting that it had not been verified.
"It's frankly outrageous and irresponsible," Spicer said of news outlets that had reported on the explosive contents of the dossier, USA Today reports.