Russians have dirt on Trump - CNN
UNITED STATES: Classified documents presented last week to US President-elect Donald Trump included allegations that Russian intelligence operatives claim to have compromising information about him, CNN has reported.
The allegations were in a twopage synopsis appended to a report presented by US intelligence officials to Trump and President Barack Obama on Russian interference in the 2016 election, CNN said, citing multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings.
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 credibility and accuracy of the the allegations, which were based primarily on information from Russian sources.
Trump responded yesterday with a tweet calling the reports: ‘‘FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!’’
The FBI, the CIA, the White House and Trump’s transition team all declined to comment.
Allegations that Russia attempted to compromise the New York real estate businessman have been circulating in Washington for months, and were presented to US officials last year.
The warning to Trump coincides with growing concern about what Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has called a ‘‘multifaceted’’ Russian influence and espionage campaign in Europe and the US.
An unclassified intelligence report released last weekend concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an effort to help Trump’s electoral chances by discrediting his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign.
The classified briefings last week were presented by Clapper, FBI director James Comey, CIA director John Brennan and NSA director Mike Rogers.
One reason the US intelligence chiefs took the extraordinary step of including the synopsis in the briefing documents was to make Trump aware that allegations about him were circulating among intelligence agencies, senior members of Congress and government officials, CNN said.
A senior US official with access to the document said the allegations were presented partly to underscore the fact that Russia had embarrassing information on both major candidates but only released material that might harm Clinton.
If true, the information suggests that Moscow has assembled damaging information – known in espionage circles by the Russian term ‘‘kompromat’’ – that conceivably could be used to coerce the next occupant of the White House.
The synopsis also included allegations of ongoing contact between members of Trump’s inner circle and representatives of Moscow.
Dossiers compiled by a former Western intelligence official have been circulating in Washington for months.
Compiled initially during early 2016 and supplemented during and after the election, the reports include detailed allegations that the Russians have compromising material about Trump, some of it obtained when he visited Moscow in 2013 for the Miss Universe pageant, and on a previous visit to Russia.
Other reports compiled by the official allege contacts between Trump personnel and business officials and Russian officials during the election campaign.
The official was at one point paid to explore Trump’s ties to Russia by anti-Trump Republicans and later by supporters of the Democratic Party. Some of the claims have been denied by Trump officials.
- Reuters, Washington Post
The compromising material Russia allegedly has on Donald Trump includes information from visits the US president-elect made to Russia, one of which was for the Miss Universe contest.