President Donald Trump said on Thursday that “Russia is fake news” and insisted that he has no business connections in that country.
Trump appeared to be responding to a Tuesday report from the New York Times that members of his campaign staff made repeated contact with Russian officials before the 2016 election.
“Russia is fake news. Russia — this is fake news put out by the media,” Trump told reporters at a press conference.
“Speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia. I have no loans in Russia. I don’t have any deals in Russia,” he said.
Trump claimed that “the extent” of his connection with Russia was two phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin: the first when the Russian leader congratulated him on his election win and the second when Putin congratulated Trump on his inauguration.
“But so did many other leaders,” Trump noted. “Almost all other leaders from almost all other countries.”