RUSSIA

Putin’s Spokesman Calls Trump Claims ‘Nonsense’

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Vladimir Putin, addressed a report published Tuesday claiming the Kremlin officials were sharing information with the Trump campaign

RUSSIA
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in May — REUTERS
Jan 11, 2017 at 5:47 AM ET

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin vigorously denied allegations that the Kremlin had collected damning material on President-elect Donald Trump in order to blackmail him. Speaking Wednesday, Dmitry Peskov called the allegations “utter nonsense.”

“In English, this is called pulp fiction,” Peskov said of the report, suggesting that we should react to it with “a sense of humor.” He went on to say it’s as unfounded as previous reports of Russian interference in U.S. elections.

On Tuesday, CNN first wrote that a classified report was presented to Donald Trump and Barack Obama last week that contained allegations that Russia had collected damaging information on Trump’s personal and financial dealings that it was using as leverage. That report also claimed that Trump associates and Kremlin officials were sharing information during the lead-up to the November election.

A two-page synopsis of the new allegations was reportedly presented as an addendum to last week’s briefings on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. Buzzfeed News later published the full, 35-page dossier — noting that the report was “unverified” and contained some factual errors.

Buzzfeed states that it published the full dossier, prepared by a former British intelligence official who was hired to do opposition research on Republicans, because the document was being widely shared among senior intelligence officials.

Donald Trump’s team also denied the new allegations. Trump tweeted that it was a “political witch hunt.”

The FBI refused to comment on whether it is investigating possible Trump-Russia links.

Peskov, the Putin spokesman, went on to say that Russia “does not engage in collecting compromising material” — calling the report an attempt to damage U.S.-Russian relations.