Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday accused the outgoing US administration of trying to undermine President-elect Donald Trump by spreading fake allegations.
Those behind the compiling of accusations against Trump in an unverified dossier are “worse than prostitutes,” Putin said.
The dossier, which alleges that Trump’s aides colluded with the Kremlin ahead of the US election and that Russia has compromising information of a sexual nature about Trump, was put together by a former intelligence agent.
American media and politicians have been in possession of versions of the 35-page report for months but, unable to corroborate its claims, had declined to publish it. But earlier this month, after several media outlets reported that Trump had been briefed on the allegations circulating about him, the BuzzFeed website took the controversial step of publishing the dossier in full — while admitting it was “unverified.”
The dossier includes unsubstantiated claims that Russians possess videos involving prostitutes, filmed during a 2013 visit by Trump to a luxury Moscow hotel for the Miss Universe contest, supposedly as a potential means for blackmail.
It also alleges that Trump advisers, including his lawyer Michael Cohen, maintained regular contact with Russian officials and others linked to Russian intelligence during the election and have been exchanging information for “at least” eight years.
Putin, speaking at a news conference Tuesday, described the dossier on Trump as part of efforts by President Barack Obama’s administration to “undermine the legitimacy of the president-elect” despite his “convincing” victory.
He said some now want to “stage a Maidan in Washington,” in reference to the alleged US role in organizing protests in the main square of the Ukrainian capital, which chased the nation’s Russia-friendly president from power in 2014.
Putin dismissed the dossier as “fake,” echoing Trump, who has rejected the allegations as “fake news” and “phony stuff.”
Putin also denied the Russian security services would have kept tabs on Trump during his past visits to Moscow.
“Trump when he came to Moscow (in 2013)… was not any kind of political figure,” he said. “Does anyone think that our special services chase every American billionaire? Of course not, it’s just completely ridiculous.”
“Trump organized beauty contests, I can hardly imagine him meeting with young women with low level of social responsibility,” the Russian president said, according to the Interfax news agency.