Donald Trump Rebukes Buzzfeed Report, Russian Ties

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President-elect Donald Trump is taking shots at the intelligence community and the “mainstream media,” yet again, after BuzzFeed News published a 35-page report Tuesday, containing unverified and salacious allegations about Trump’s ties to the Russian government.

The dossier in question, which was said to have been compiled by a former British intelligence officer hired by Trump’s political opponents, has reportedly been circulating among some lawmakers, journalists, and intelligence officials for months.

CNN reported Tuesday that President Barack Obama and President-elect Trump received a two-page synopsis of the opposition research last week, warning of Russia’s efforts to compromise Trump.

Buzzfeed was unable to confirm the document’s contents, but decided to publish it in full anyways “so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government.”

The collection of memos allege that Russia has been “cultivating, supporting, and assisting” Trump for at least five years. It also claims that in 2013 Trump employed a number of prostitutes to perform a perverse “golden shower” display in front of him, on the same bed the Obamas slept in at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Moscow, and that the Russian intelligence agency FSB reportedly recorded the encounter.

Critics have debated the ethics of whether or not Buzzfeed was in the right to have published the secret dossier in full, without verifying its contents. Ben Smith, Buzzfeed’s Editor-in-Chief, defended the publication’s decision, offering this explanation:

Trump responded to the article on Twitter, with his characteristic capitalized ferocity.

He later added:

During Trump’s first press conference as president-elect Wednesday morning, he categorically denied the document’s validity, calling it “fake news” and “phony stuff.” Trump also denied allegations that he watched a “golden shower” display at the Russian Ritz Carlton, claiming “I’m very much a germaphobe. Believe me.”

Trump did admit, however, for the first time, that Russia was behind the DNC hack. “I think it was Russia,” said Trump, before backpedaling a few minutes later to say that perhaps it was another country.

Alexis Evans
Alexis Evans is an Assistant Editor at Law Street and a Buckeye State native. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a minor in Business from Ohio University. Contact Alexis at aevans@LawStreetMedia.com.



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