US spy chiefs have informed Donald Trump that Russian operatives claim to possess deeply compromising personal and financial information about him, US media reported Tuesday on the eve of the president-elect’s first press conference.
Trump denounced a “political witch hunt” after CNN reported that intelligence officials briefing him last week on allegations of Russian meddling in the US election had also given him a synopsis of the explosive and unverified claims.
“FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!” the president-elect tweeted.
Intelligence chiefs last week presented America’s incoming 45th president, as well as current President Barack Obama, with a two-page synopsis on the potential embarrassment, according to CNN and The New York Times, who cited multiple unnamed US officials with direct knowledge of the meeting.
Obama delivered his farewell address Tuesday evening as the bombshell report was reverberating in political and diplomatic circles with just 10 days to go until Trump’s inauguration.
The outgoing US leader had little to add publicly to the bombshell revelations.
“You know I hadn’t seen the reports, we were on the plane together, and I hadn’t read the news since then and as a matter of principle and national security I don’t comment on classified information,” the president said in an interview with NBC News late Tuesday.
He added however that he hopes Congress and the Trump administration will continue to work toward finding answers about who is responsible for hacking scandals that have roiled American politics in recent months.