Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, called the report about the president-elect’s alleged involvement with Russia “phony-baloney garbage” during his appearance on the Today show Wednesday, January 11.
On Tuesday, BuzzFeed published a 35-page unverified document compiled by a former British intelligence officer that contains multiple salacious claims about the ex–Apprentice star, 70. The dossier alleges Russia “has been cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for at least five years” and that Trump was involved in “perverted sexual acts” during a trip to Moscow.
Sources told NBC News that Trump and President Barack Obama were briefed on this information last week, but Priebus, 44, denied that the either politician was given this info by intelligence officers. “I was in the room [during Trump’s intelligence briefing]. The first I had heard of any of these wild accusations was when someone printed it out from the BuzzFeed website,” he said. “This is not an intelligence document.”
Priebus added that he can say with certainty that Trump and his campaign had no conversations with Russia. “The other salacious garbage that was in this report didn’t happen. We’re talking about fake news. It’s shameful,” he said. "It’s all phony-baloney garbage.”
Trump responded to the claims on Twitter on Tuesday, writing, “FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT.” He added in a series of tweets on Wednesday that “Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING! I win an election easily, a great ‘movement’ is verified, and crooked opponents try to belittle our victory with FAKE NEWS. A sorry state! Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?"
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