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Trump blasts Buzzfeed, CNN over Russian reports

President-elect Donald Trump took aim at several media outlets during his conference. Picture: AP Photo/Seth Wenig
President-elect Donald Trump took aim at several media outlets during his conference. Picture: AP Photo/Seth Wenig

PRESIDENT-elect Donald Trump has unleashed on a CNN reporter in an explosive press conference, saying "you are fake news" after the publication of an unverified dossier that claimed he was "cultivated" by Russia.

During an extraordinary press conference overnight, Mr Trump savaged media outlets CNN and Buzzfeed for reporting on the document.

"Since you're attacking our news organisation, can you give us a chance to ask a question?" CNN's Jim Acosta asked.

"Not you, your news organisation is terrible," Mr Trump replied.

The President-elect tried to take a question from another reporter, but Acosta interrupted.

"Can you give us a question? You are attacking us, can you give us a question, sir? Sir? Mr President-elect?" Acosta shouted.

"Quiet. Quiet. She's asking a question, don't be rude, don't be rude," Trump said.

"No, I'm not going to give you a question - you are fake news."

Mr Trump blasted the leaking of the report from intelligence agencies as "disgraceful" and "crap", repeating claims made earlier on Twitter about it being akin to living in "Nazi Germany".

"That's something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do. That information that was false and fake and never happened," he said.

He slammed CNN for "going out of their way to build it up", but saved particular venom for Buzzfeed.

"Buzzfeed is a failing pile of garbage and they're going to pay the consequences," he said.

"I think it's a disgrace that information would be let out.

"It's all fake news, it's phony stuff, it doesn't happen … It was a group of opponents who got together, sick people, and they put that crap together."

The press conference was the first the President-elect had held since July and covered a range of issues from his business interests to Obamacare.

On US intelligence reports of Russian hacking in the US election, Mr Trump said: "I think it was Russia but I think we also get hacked by other countries and by other people."

"If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset not a liability because we have a horrible relationship with Russia," he said.

He also said reports of lewd sexual acts in a hotel room in Moscow were not true, not least because he was a "germophobe" who was constantly aware of being caught on camera.

"No matter where you go you're going to probably have cameras," he said.

"You can't see them and you won't know. You better be careful or you're watching yourself on nightly television. I tell this to people all the time."

With nine days to go before the inauguration, Mr Trump outlined plans to separate himself from his business, which he will turn over to his sons, Eric and Donald Jr.

His lawyer said Ivanka would also resign from her role at the company and Mr Trump bragged about how he turned down an opportunity for a $2 billion series of deals with a "great guy" from Dubai.

Mr Trump's lawyer Sheri Dillon said no new foreign deals would be undertaken while he was in office.

On the domestic front, the President-elect said Obamacare would be repealed and replaced "on the same day" and a Supreme Court justice would be chosen "within two weeks" of his inauguration.

He also reaffirmed commitments to build a wall on the border with Mexico and said he would bring in a border tax for companies that chose to move operations offshore.

Before the press conference, the President-elect took to Twitter to slam US intelligence agencies for "leaking" an unverified dossier into the public domain, claiming it was "one last shot" at him after winning the election.

In a string of tweets, Mr Trump said Russia has "never tried to use leverage" over him and he had "no deals, no loans, no nothing" with the country.

He asked "Are we living in Nazi Germany?" and slammed "crooked opponents" for trying to belittle him with "fake news".

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the dossier, which claimed Trump had engaged in lewd sexual acts in Moscow, was "complete fabrication and utter nonsense".

"This is an evident attempt to harm our bilateral ties," he said, adding that it was "pulp fiction" and a "clear attempt to damage relations".

"The Kremlin does not engage in collecting compromising information," he said.

On Tuesday, Buzzfeed published a dossier that had been circulating in government and media circles for months that contained a number of unsubstantiated claims about Mr Trump.

The document, which is purportedly from a British intelligence official, stated that Russia had been cultivating and supporting Trump for at least five years and that he had been "compromised" through his activities in Moscow "sufficiently to be able to blackmail him".

It said Russian Secret Service initiatives' aims to exploit Trump's sexual desires had "borne fruit".

It claimed compromising material had been found about him in the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel where the Obamas had stayed, including "defiling the bed" with prostitutes used to perform "golden showers".

The document also contains information about Russian cyber hacking and alleged meetings carried out by Trump's adviser Carter Page in Moscow.

Mr Peskov was named as the owner of a similar dossier on Hillary Clinton that had been ordered directly by Putin.

Claims in the document were unable to be verified, but were presented by US intelligence to President Obama and the President-elect.

It comes after the CIA published a report last week detailing the background to alleged Russian influence in the US election.

Mr Peskov said it should be treated with "humour" but that there was a sad side that could harm relations between the countries.

"There are people who are whipping up this frenzy, who are doing their best to keep this witch hunt going," he said.
 

News Corp Australia

Topics:  buzzfeed cnn donald trump editors picks russia us politics us presidency



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