Donald Trump claims spy chief denounced dossier

US president-elect rejects allegations that Russia has damaging information about him

Speaking in Trump Tower, New York, US President-elect has accused opponents of releasing 'fake news' about him

 

US president-elect Donald Trump has said the director of US national intelligence “denounced” a document alleging Russia has damaging information about him.

Mr Trump tweeted: “James Clapper called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated. Made up, phony facts. Too bad!”

Mr Clapper said late on Wednesday that he had called Mr Trump to say that the intelligence community made no judgment on the credibility of the claims in the document and lamented that it had been made public.

He also said he told Mr Trump that he does not believe the “leaks” came from inside the intelligence community.

Mr Trump held his first press conference since July on Wednesday.

The event had originally been called to demonstrate how he would avoid conflicts of interest involving his business empire as president.

But the event was heavily overshadowed by news that the FBI had been handed a dossier containing unverified but potentially damaging intelligence on Mr Trump, including claims of alleged sexual impropriety in a Moscow hotel room.

Criticism

During the conference, the president-elect attacked intelligence agencies and specific news organisations, notably CNN, which had reported that Mr Trump and US president Barack Obama had been briefed about a summary of a memo on Mr Trump’s alleged links with Moscow, and BuzzFeed, which published the dossier in full.

Mr Trump called the dossier “fake news”.

The person who produced the dossier detailing the allegations against Mr Trump was named on Wednesday as 52-year-old former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, who co-founded the London-based firm Orbis Business Intelligence. He has reportedly gone into hiding following the controversy.

PA and Guardian service