NEW YORK CITY — President-elect Donald Trump lashed out at new reporting on allegations about his ties to Russia in a series of tweets Wednesday, accusing the intelligence community of leaking information to the public and asking, “are we living in Nazi Germany?”
“I win an election easily, a great “movement” is verified, and crooked opponents try to belittle our victory with FAKE NEWS. A sorry state!,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“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?” he added.
Trump’s tweets came in response to a major development on Tuesday night, when CNN reported that last week, classified documents presented to President Barack Obama and Trump that included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings.
After Russia denied having any such information — Putin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday called the charges “a clear attempt to harm our bilateral relationship” and a “witch hunt” — Trump took to social media to insist that Russia had no undue influence over him.
Trump wrote on Twitter, “Russia just said the unverified report paid for by political opponents is “A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE.” Very unfair!”
“Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!”
The allegations regarding Trump and Russia were presented in a two-page synopsis that was appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, reported on last Friday. The allegations came, in part, from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible. The FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources, but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Mr. Trump.
The two-page synopsis also included allegations that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government, according to two national security officials.
The classified briefings last week were presented by four of the senior-most US intelligence chiefs — Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan and NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers.
Trump is holding a pre-scheduled news conference at 11 a.m. ET Wednesday.