Pres­i­dent-elect shoots down me­dia mem­ber in deny­ing re­cent re­ports

The Progress-Index - - FRONT PAGE - By Julie Pace

NEW YORK — In an hour­long spec­ta­cle in the mar­bled lobby of Don­ald Trump’s Man­hat­tan sky­scraper — the pres­i­dent-elect’s first news con­fer­ence since win­ning the elec­tion in early Novem­ber — the fa­mously un­con­ven­tional politi­cian demon­strated he had not been changed by the

weight of his vic­tory.

He de­fi­antly de­nied re­ports that Rus­sia had col­lected com­pro­mis­ing per­sonal and fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion about him, lam­bast­ing the me­dia for ped­dling “fake news” and shout­ing down a jour­nal­ist from CNN, which re­ported on the mat­ter. His fam­ily and ad­vis­ers clapped and cheered him on through­out.

Trump’s tran­si­tion has been shad­owed by U.S. in­tel­li­gence as­sess­ments that Rus­sia not only med­dled in the elec­tion, but did so to help him de­feat Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton. After spend­ing weeks chal­leng­ing that idea, Trump fi­nally ac­cepted at least part of the in­tel­li­gence con­clu­sions.

“As far as hack­ing, I think it was Rus­sia,” Trump said, quickly adding that “other coun­tries and other peo­ple” also hack U.S. in­ter­ests. Still, he kept needling the in­tel­li­gence agen­cies, say­ing it would be a “tremen­dous blot” on their record if of­fi­cials were leak­ing in­for­ma­tion from his clas­si­fied brief­ings.

One U.S. of­fi­cial told The As­so­ci­ated Press Tues­day night that in­tel­li­gence peo­ple had in­formed Trump last week about an un­sub­stan­ti­ated re­port that Rus­sia had com­pro­mis­ing per­sonal and fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion about him. Some me­dia out­lets re­ported on the doc­u­ment, which con­tains un­proven in­for­ma­tion al­leg­ing close co­or­di­na­tion be­tween Trump’s in­ner cir­cle and Rus­sians, as well as un­ver­i­fied claims about un­usual sex­ual ac­tiv­i­ties by Trump. The AP has not au­then­ti­cated any of the claims.

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