Donald Trump attacks alleged Russian dossier as 'fake news' and slams Buzzfeed and CNN at press conference
12 January 2017 • 4:39am
Donald Trump has attacked the publishing of an alleged Russian report and stated that it was "something Nazi Germany would have done". Referring to the allegations in the dossier, the president-elect described himself as a "germophobe". "Does anyone really believe that story?" he said. "I'm also very much of a germophobe by the way, believe me."
Five things you need to know about the Trump dossier
He said the publishing of the report had been done by "sick people" and suggested intelligence agencies had leaked it.
"I think it was disgraceful, disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake out there," he said.
He called the dossier that makes salacious claims about him "fake news" and "phony stuff". "I think it's a disgrace ... That's something that Nazi Germany would have done," the Republican said days ahead of his inauguration.
Mr Trump acknowledged that Russia likely hacked the Democratic National Committee and the emails of other top Democrats during the 2016 presidential election, but defended his goal of better ties with Moscow. "If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability," he said. James Clapper, US Director of National Intelligence, said he spoke with Mr Trump on Wednesday evening to discuss the media leaks.
Mr Clapper said in a statement that he did not believe the US intelligence community leaked the private security document. "I emphasised that this document is not a US Intelligence Community product and that I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC," Mr Clapper said.
Donald Trump has again hit out at the media after his first press conference since the election. The president-elect attacked CNN and Buzzfeed for reporting allegations of compromising behaviour by Mr Trump and alleged links between him and people in Russia. He later tweeted: "We had a great News Conference at Trump Tower today. A couple of FAKE NEWS organizations were there but the people truly get what's going on."
Clapper speaks with Trump
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says he has spoken with Mr Trump to discuss media leaks of the classified intelligence briefing that Trump received last Friday and has assured him that the intelligence community "stands ready to serve his administration." Mr Clapper says he does not believe the US intelligence community leaked a private security document alleging Russian intelligence operatives have compromising information on Mr Trump "I expressed my profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press, and we both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security," Mr Clapper said of last week's briefing.
"I emphasised that this document is not a U.S. Intelligence Community product and that I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC," Clapper said. "The IC has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable, and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions."
The statement came after Mr Trump tweeted: "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?"
Mexico: Of course we're not paying for a wall
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto says that "of course" his country will not pay for a wall along the US-Mexico border. Mr Trump insists that Mexico will pay for the structure. Mr Pena Nieto said during a gathering of Mexico's ambassadors and consuls that it's evident his country has "some differences with the next government of the United States, like the topic of the wall that Mexico of course will not pay for." He adds that "basic principles" like "our sovereignty" are "not negotiable." Mr Trump insisted at a press conference that Mexico will indeed pay for the wall he wants to build along the southern border to stop illegal immigration. Mr Pena Nieto says that any negotiations with the US must include a commitment to stop the flow of illegal arms and money from the US into Mexico.
Rubio discouraged by Tillerson
Sen. Marco Rubio is frustrated with how Mr Trump's choice for secretary of state handled his confirmation hearing, AP reports. Rubio said Rex Tillerson did not seize the opportunity to forcefully rebuke countries failing to respect human rights. Rubio lectured the former Exxon Mobil CEO on the importance of being the nation's top diplomat and the need to stand up for people around the world. "They look to the United States," he said. The Florida Republican said he was discouraged Tillerson did not declare Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal or call Saudi Arabia and the Philippines human rights violators. Rubio's opinion could prove pivotal when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee votes on Tillerson's nomination. The panel is comprised of 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats.
Former MI6 officer who produced Donald Trump Russian dossier 'terrified for his safety'
Aformer MI6 officer who produced a dossier making lurid allegations about Donald Trump is “terrified for his safety” after he was unmasked by a US publication. Christopher Steele, 52, fled from his home in Surrey on Wednesday morning after realising it was only a matter of time until his name became public knowledge. A source close to Mr Steele said on Wednesday night that he now fears a prompt and potentially dangerous backlash against him from Moscow. Mr Steele, the co-founder of London-based Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, prepared a 35-page document that alleges the Kremlin colluded with Mr Trump’s presidential campaign and that the Russian security services have material that could be used to blackmail him, including an allegation that he paid prostitutes to defile a bed that had been slept in by Barack and Michelle Obama. His research was initially funded by anti-Trump Republicans, and later by Democrats. Mr Trump has branded the allegations in the dossier “fake” and has said he feels as though he is living in Nazi Germany. Read the full story.
Pharma stocks falter after Trump's comments
Pharmaceutical stocks took a beating earlier after Donald Trump said he’d force the industry to bid for government business.
The US President-elect lashed out at the sector for charging high drug prices, saying they were “getting away with murder”. He said: “Pharma has a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power and there is very little bidding. We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world and yet we don’t bid properly and we’re going to save billions of dollars.” Our markets report is here.
CNN: our reporting on alleged Russian dossier 'vastly different' from Buzzfeed's
CNN has stated its decision to publish "carefully sourced reporting" on unverified intelligence documents concerning Mr Trump is "vastly different than BuzzFeed's decision to publish unsubstantiated memos".
Tillerson backs 'full review' of Iran nuclear deal
An update from Rex Tillerson's Senate confirmation hearing: He has said he would recommend a "full review" of the nuclear deal with Iran, but he did not call for an outright rejection of the 2015 accord. He also said he did not oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade deal, but said he shares some of Mr Trump's views about whether the pact as negotiated reflects all the best interests of the United States. He would not commit to whether he would allow a travelling press corps with him on foreign trips:
White House criticises Mr Trump 'secrecy' on financial dealings with Russia
The White House has said Mr Trump and his transition team have refused to make public information that would put to rest questions about his and his family's possible financial entanglements in Russia. "There's ample evidence that they could marshal, to make public to refute those claims, those accusations that they say are baseless. But they refuse to do so," spokesman Josh Earnest said at a news briefing. "That kind of secrecy only serves to sow public doubt."
Mr Trump said at the end of his press conference that if his two sons did not perform satisfactorily while running his business empire, he would not hesitate to use his catch-phrase: "You're fired!" Donald Jr has responded:
What he said v What he meant
"I think it was Russian"
Donald Trump made the strongest statement yet that he has been convinced that Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman. He did repeat his argument that too much attention is being paid to these hacks compared to other foreign-orchestrated cyber attacks but it appears that we're now all on the same page as far as the culprit.
"Hacking is bad. And it shouldn't be done...but look what was learned from that hacking"Pointing the finger at Russia does not mean Mr Trump is upset that the hacking took place. He said valuable information about Mrs Clinton and her associates was gleaned from the hacks.
"There's a good chance I don't" get along with Vladimir PutinMr Trump is sticking to his guns. He says it's a good thing that "Putin likes Trump", and that it is important to pursue stronger relations with Moscow. If that relationship breaks down though, the president-elect said he will be tougher on Mr Putin than Mrs Clinton ever would have been.
"In those rooms, you have cameras in the strangest places"Mr Trump denied that the most salacious elements of a dossier reportedly prepared by a former British spy could be accurate for multiple reasons. First, he has always been wary of hidden cameras when travelling abroad ("I'm a pretty high profile person, would you say?). Second, he's "very much of a germophobe".
"It's a tremendous blot on their record if they in fact did that"Mr Trump says it is a "disgrace" that information that should have been restricted to the intelligence community made its way into media reports. He did not go so far as to say it was leaked by top intelligence officials, but reacted angrily to the idea that it could have been.
"I won"Mr Trump said the American people do not care about his decision not to release his tax returns, and possible conflicts of interest with his business, because they elected him president.
Trump: 'Buzzfeed will suffer the consequences'
Donald Trump has on air dispute with Buzzfeed
Describing Buzzfeed as a "failing" news organisation, Mr Trump states that it will "suffer the consequences" for releasing the alleged Russian dossier. “As far as Buzzfeed which is a failing pile of garbage writing it, I think they’re going to suffer the consequences, and they already are,” he stated. He then refuses to answer questions from Buzzfeed and CNN, branding them "fake news". Next question from the BBC. "That's another beauty," he states.
'We're going to start building the wall'
Mr Trump says he wants to start immediately on building the border wall between the US and Mexico. He states that negotiations with Mexico on the funding of wall will begin immediately after he takes office. He said Mr Pence is "leading an effort to get final approvals through various agencies and through Congress for the wall to begin". "Mexico in some form ... will reimburse us," he insisted.
Trump: Obamacare is a complete and total disaster
"Finally Obamacare!" Mr Trump jokes. He says it is the Democrats' problem and "we're gonna take it off the shelves". "We could sit back and wait and watch and criticise" in 2017, he says. "We are going to be submitting a plan - it will be repeal and replace, it will be essentially simultaneously... Very complicated stuff. We're gonna get healthcare taken care of in this country."
He states that Mr Tillerson is "brilliant", and that: “I think we have one of the great cabinets ever put together, and we’ve heard that from so many people.”
Trump 'builds a wall' between Trump organisation and the Trump presidency
Mr Trump has said he is voluntarily handing over control of his business empire to his two sons Donald Jr and Eric. No new foreign deals will be made during the Trump presidency, his lawyer, Sheri Dillon, has said, stating all conflict of interest issues will be resolved by these actions. "The business empire built by President-elect Trump over the years is massive - not dissimilar to the fortunes of Nelson Rockefeller when he became vice-president, but at that time no-one was so concerned," she said. She said Mr Trump wanted voters to "rest assured that all of his efforts are directed to pursuing the people's business and not his own". He had instructed her firm to set up a structure for his businesses that would "completely isolate him from the management of the company" and ensure "that the activities of the Trump Organisation cannot be perceived to be exploitative of the presidency", she said. "He instructed us to take all steps realistically possible to make clear that he is not exploiting the office of the president for his personal benefit."
Trump: 'I'm very much of a germaphobe - believe me'
Trump: "I am extremely careful, there are cameras in the strangest places"
The president-elect has said that on foreign trips - such as when he went to Russia with the Miss Universe franchise - he was always very aware of security such as hidden cameras in hotel rooms. "I am extremely careful. I always tell [my people] be very careful, because in those rooms you have cameras in the strangest places -you can’t see them and you won’t know," he said. "You better be careful or you will be watching yourself on nightly television.”
Trump supports allowing government to negotiate over drug prices
Donald Trump just came out in favour of allowing the government to negotiate over drug prices. That is massive news for the pharmaceutical industry, and could have a significant impact on the markets. The likes of Bernie Sanders have been pushing for a more open drug market for years, but it marks a significant policy shift for the Republicans if Mr Trump includes it in his healthcare plan. Sky high drug prices are a big part of what makes healthcare in the US more expensive than almost anywhere else in the world. The Pharma lobby, which Mr Trump just said is too powerful, will fight him tooth and nail.