REPORTING FROM WASHINGTON
“It may be the intelligence agencies,” Trump said at his first news conference since he was elected in November. “It would be a tremendous blot” if U.S. intelligence agencies were responsible for the leak, he said.
“I think it was disgraceful that the intelligence agencies would allow information [to leak] that turned out to be false and fake. I think it was a disgrace,” he said.
President-elect Trump faces unverified allegations that Russian officials had gathered compromising information about his personal life and political associates, further deepening the controversy over Russian involvement in the 2016 election.
“It’s all fake news, it’s phony stuff,” Trump said, adding that the report was put together by his political opponents.
The information is contained in a 35-page file that was released Tuesday by BuzzFeed, which said it was publishing the material in the interest of “transparency,” but had not been able to corroborate it.
Several news organizations reported that senior U.S. intelligence officials had included a two-page synopsis of the file when they briefed Trump last week on evidence of Russian involvement in the election and that they had also informed top leaders of Congress about the allegations.
Trump also accused U.S. intelligence officials of leaking to the press details about his classified intelligence briefings. “I think it’s pretty sad when intelligence reports get leaked out to the press,” he said. “First of all it’s illegal,” he said.