Donald Trump offered a creative, multipronged defense of himself after BuzzFeed published a salacious, unverified 35-page memo claiming that the Kremlin had compromising secrets about the president-elect’s sex life.
“Does anyone really believe that story? I’m also very much a germophobe, by the way, believe me,” he said Wednesday during his first press conference since winning the November election.
CNN reported Tuesday night that the heads of all four U.S. intelligence agencies presented both Trump and President Obama a two-page synopsis that included allegations that Russian intelligence operatives collected compromising personal and financial information about him. BuzzFeed subsequently published what it said was the unverified 35-page dossier, reportedly compiled by a former British intelligence operative, on which the synopsis was in part based.
BuzzFeed noted that the dossier contained clear errors, and the outlet’s decision to publish it sparked debates about whether it was ethical to do so. Among other things, the dossier claimed that Russian intelligence operatives filmed Trump with prostitutes in hotel rooms.
During his press conference, Trump blasted the report as “fake news” compiled by his political opponents and further said he had always warned his staffers about potential hidden cameras in hotel rooms.
“I am extremely careful. I’m surrounded by bodyguards. I’m surrounded by people,” he said. “And I always tell them … ‘Be very careful. Because in your hotel rooms, and no matter where you go, you’re going to probably have cameras. … In those rooms, you have cameras in the strangest places. Cameras that are so small with modern technology, you can’t see them and you won’t know. You better be careful, or you’ll be watching yourself on nightly television.’ I tell this to people all the time.”
Trump also pointed to the fact that the Kremlin denied that the story was true.
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