Trump Says Unfounded Russia Allegations Are ‘Nonsense’
President-elect Donald Trump called the new unsubstantiated allegations that Russia is in possession of personal and financial information about him as “nonsense.”
“A thing like that should have never been written, it should never been had and it should certainly never have been released,” Trump said during his first press conference since the election.
“I want to thank a lot of the news organizations here today because they looked at that nonsense that was released by maybe the intelligence agencies, who knows, but maybe the intelligence agencies, which would be a tremendous blot on their record if they in fact did that,” Trump continued.
Trump referred to the allegations as “fake news” on Twitter Tuesday night, a claim he reiterated this morning with reporters.
“I read the information outside of that meeting. It’s all fake news. It’s phony stuff. It didn’t happen,” Trump said.
The president-elect confirmed that he had heard about the report before it was made public, and said that it’s “an absolute disgrace.”
The questions about the report did not stop Trump from praising Russia and President Vladimir Putin, who he repeatedly complimented during the presidential campaign.
“If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability,” he said.
He reiterated that he doesn’t have any business ties to Russia — a claim he made earlier today on Twitter.
Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Today marks 167 days since Trump last held a formal press conference. His transition team had previously scheduled an event in December but delayed it, arguing that Trump needed more time to resolve potential conflicts of interest before he entered the White House.
Trump started the news conference by talking about how often he made such appearances during the campaign.
“I think we probably maybe won the nomination because of news conferences… We stopped giving them because there was quite a bit of inaccurate news,” Trump said.