At a press conference today at Trump Tower, President-elect Donald Trump thanked news organizations that refrained from reporting on unsubstantiated “fake news” and “nonsense” concerning him that appeared on the BuzzFeed news website. He said, however, that a dossier of a salacious story about him “should never been released.” Moreover, he suggested that U.S. intelligence agencies may have been responsible for releasing the allegations. If so, he said, it would be a “tremendous blot” on their reputations.
 
In advance of the news conference, where the intended focus was to be on Trump’s parting of ways from the management of his far-flung enterprises, the media instead focused on reports on the dossier, which is said to have been drafted by a former British intelligence officer or even a former ambassador of the UK to Russia. According to BuzzFeed, intelligence officials briefed both President Barack Obama and Trump last week before reports about the dossier came on CNN last night. Buzzfeed published the dossier in full.
 
Trump said the way the dossier had been leaked was a  "disgrace." He said, "It is all fake news. It is phoney stuff. It didn't happen and it was gotten by opponents of ours." He claimed, "It was a group of opponents who got together - sick people - and they put that crap together. Somebody released it. It shouldn't have even entered paper but it should never have even been released. I read what was released and I think it was a disgrace."
 
Trump said he believes Russia’s claim that it had not gathered compromising information about him, asserting that Russia would have published any material it has. "President Putin and Russia put out a statement today that this fake news was indeed fake news, they said it totally never happened," Trump said. The dossier recounted a supposed perverted sexual tryst involving Trump and two prostitutes at a Moscow hotel. Scoffing at the allegation, Trump said as a confirmed “germaphobe,” he found the allegation preposterous. 
 
Referring to the allegations contained in the dossier, the President-elect told reporters he was a "germaphobe." He said, "Does anyone really believe that story?" and adding, "I'm also very much of a germophobe, by the way, believe me."
 
On overseas travel, Trump said that he is "extremely careful." He said, "I'm surrounded by bodyguards, I'm surrounded by people and I always tell them ... if I am leaving this country, be very careful, because in your hotel rooms, and no matter where you go, you are probably going to have cameras.” He added, "And, number one, I hope you are going to be good anyway but 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.”
 
The flap about the dossier did not seem to alter his vision about relations with Russia. Trump said, “Good relations with Russia would be an asset,” as would relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.  "If Putin likes Donald Trump I consider that an asset, not a liability because we have a horrible relationship with Russia," he said. Referring to the nettlesome problem of the civil war in Syria and the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS), Trump said, “If Russia can help us fight Isis, which, by the way, is number one tricky. If you look, this administration created Isis by leaving at the wrong time." 
 
He added: "I don't know that I'm going to get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do, but there's a good chance I won't. And, if I don't, do you honestly believe Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me? Does anybody in this room honestly believe that? Give me a break."



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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