Donald Trump on Wednesday morning wondered aloud if the U.S. intelligence community had been involved in passing on allegations that Russian operatives have “compromising” information about him on to news organizations that reported those allegations.
In response to a reporter who asked if, as CNN reported Tuesday, intelligence officials had presented him with a two-page summary of the unsubstantiated allegations that Russian actors allegedly possessed, Trump said “somebody released it.”
“So I will tell you that not within the meeting but outside of the meeting, somebody released it. It should never have been — number one, should never have entered paper but it should never have been released,” he said.
He called the unverified allegations contained in a dossier published by Buzzfeed News, which claimed the document was the source for the summary CNN reported on, a “disgrace.”
“I think it’s a disgrace that information would be let out. I saw the information. I read the information outside of that meeting. It’s all fake news. It’s phony stuff. It didn’t happen,” he said in response to a reporter’s question.
“It was gotten by opponents of ours, as you know, because you reported it and so did many of the other people. It was a group of opponents that got together, sick people, and they put that crap together,” he continued.
Correction: Due to an editing error, the initial version of this post stated that Trump denied that intelligence officials presented him with a summary of unverified allegations against him that Russian operatives were said to possess. He neither confirmed nor denied that he was presented with that information in the meeting.