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Official: Trump briefed on potentially compromising report

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    FBI Director James Comey testified on Capitol Hill before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian Intelligence Activities.

WASHINGTON >> Top intelligence officials last week told President-elect Donald Trump about an unsubstantiated report that Russia had compromising personal and financial information about him, a U.S. official says.

The briefing about the document was first reported by CNN. A summary of the allegations was separate from a classified assessment of Russia’s suspected attempts to meddle in the U.S. presidential election. Trump and President Barack Obama were briefed on the intelligence community’s findings last week.

Shortly after news reports were published about the briefing, Trump tweeted: “FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!”

And in Moscow, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin denied the report. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov today dismissed it as a “complete fabrication and utter nonsense.” He insisted that the Kremlin “does not engage in collecting compromising material.”

A U.S. official told The Associated Press on Tuesday that intelligence officials had informed Trump about an unsubstantiated report that Russia had compromising personal and financial information about him. Trump was holding a previously scheduled news conference today to discuss his future plans regarding his role with the Trump Organization. The official who discussed the briefing by intelligence figures spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not allowed to publicly discuss the matter.

The unsubstantiated dossier on Trump was compiled by a former Western intelligence operative as part of an opposition research project originally financed by a Republican client who opposed Trump, and later funded by Democrats, according to Mother Jones, which published an article about the report in October and said the operative had turned over the report to the FBI. The New York Times reported the operative had previously worked for British intelligence. The Associated Press has not been able to substantiate the information in the dossier, which misspelled the name of Russia’s largest bank.

The dossier contains unproven information about close coordination between Trump’s inner circle and Russians about hacking into Democratic accounts as well as unproven claims about unusual sexual activities by Trump among other suggestions attributed to anonymous sources. The Associated Press has not authenticated any of the claims.

It’s unclear why the intelligence officials decided to brief the president and Trump on the uncorroborated information at this time, but lawmakers and others have repeatedly noted that Russia collects intelligence on both Democrats and Republicans.

“The Russians also hacked systems associated with the Republicans. They just chose not to release that material yet,” Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said Tuesday. “There’s nothing that prevents them from doing so at a time of their choosing in the future.”

Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said in an interview Tuesday on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” that “nobody has sourced it. They’re all unnamed, unspoken sources in the story.” She said it may have originated with a Russian investigator or groups that wanted Hillary Clinton to win the White House.

The report had been circulating in Washington for months. In October, former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid wrote the FBI asking the bureau to publicly disclose what it knew about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. Reid was aware of the dossier before he wrote the letter, according to a person knowledgeable about the subject who spoke on condition of anonymity because this person was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

FBI Director James Comey refused earlier Tuesday to say whether the FBI was investigating any possible ties between Russia and Trump’s presidential campaign, citing policy not to comment on what the FBI might or might not be doing.

Comey was pressed by Democrats on the committee about whether the FBI was conducting an investigation. There was no mention during the hearing about the summary of the dossier, which was attached to the classified hacking assessment.

“I would never comment on investigations — whether we have one or not — in an open forum like this so I can’t answer one way or another,” Comey told the panel during his first public appearance before Congress since the election. In late October, Comey angered Democrats when he announced 11 days before the election that the FBI was looking at more emails as part of its investigation of Hillary Clinton.

Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden said the American people had a right to know about whether there is an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia.

An active FBI investigation of the next president for ties between his campaign and a nation accused of meddling in the presidential election could further stoke mistrust in the legitimacy of the democratic process. It could also put Trump’s own FBI in the awkward position of examining the conduct of those closest to the commander in chief.

The FBI was among three U.S. intelligence agencies that collaborated on last week’s report on Russia’s election activity. It tied Russian President Vladimir Putin to the hacking of email accounts of the Democratic National Committee and individual Democrats like Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. It said there was no evidence the Russians tampered with vote tallies; the agencies said they couldn’t assess if Russia succeeded in influencing Americans to vote for Trump.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who opposed Trump in the GOP primary, said Russia’s activity wasn’t guided by its support for Trump, but rather “to influence and to potentially manipulate American public opinion for the purpose of discrediting individual political figures, sowing chaos and division in our politics, sowing doubts about the legitimacy of our elections.”

Democrats at the committee hearing focused their toughest questions on Comey, who was widely criticized for breaking FBI policy in his decision to notify Congress about additional information that came up related to Clinton. He is in the fourth year of a 10-year term, meaning he is expected to stay on in the Trump administration.

Associated Press writer Kathleen Hennessey contributed to this report.

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  • Ironic that Comey was the first to go public to say the FBI was going to reinvestigate Hillary with a week to go before the election. He quietly admitted days later that they had found nothing on Hillary. The damage was already done. Moire rigged election activity on behalf of the horrible Trump. The public was had.

        • Putin was head of KGB, and knows that the best way to get high ranking officials to commit treason is to blackmail using scandalous information, such as documents, recorded conversations, pictures or videos of degraceful or illegal conduct (i.e. sex with underage girls).

          Is Trump groveling before Russia because Putin has such information, perhaps obtained during Trump’s trips to Moscow?

          What might Putin have caught him doing? We all know Trump lacks self control, and that he has bragged about having committed sex crimes.

          #MAGA? (Make America Grovel Again?)

        • After watching the mass suicide of the American “news” media in abandoning any last shred of credibility by admittedly going all in for Candidate Clinton, I thought I had seen it all.

          I erred.

          By waiting to publish lurid, entirely unsubstantiated anti-Trump propaganda by sources SA declineS to identify TEN DAYS BEFORE INAUGURATION, SA brings to mind the title of Tom Wolfe’s 1987 best seller, “The Bonfire Of The Vanities”.

          Mark Twain had it exactly right: “One who does not read the newspaper is UN informed. One who does is MIS informed.”

          Does SA honestly believe this raw example of fake news will generate real credibility in those SA hopes will consume its product?

          I’d give worlds to know.

        • Did Putin instruct the Chump to “choose” oilman Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State?

          Tillerson and Putin are both desperate to lift Obama’s sanctions on Russian oil that have been cramping their pocketbooks.

          Did Putin make the other cabinet picks too?

          And what’s in the Dumpster’s personal tax records?

        • My comment is awaiting moderation.
          @ DannoBoy
          Feeling like the Dl_lMBEST F00L in Hawaii? WOW SHAME on you!

          January 20 #MAGA

    • FIDDLE STICKS!

      Felony-Shrillary was ‘Swift Boated’ – – i.e. she was damaged by the one thing Democrat Party candidates and office holders most fear: the TRUTH.

    • It tied Russian President Vladimir Putin to the hacking of email accounts of the Democratic National Committee and individual Democrats like Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta

      The report did not say it had direct evidence of this.

      The NSA said it had “moderate” confidence in these conclusions.

    • Allie, was it not also somewhat funny that the video of the Donald was brought out just in time for the election and the impact it had as well?
      These are both very deceptive issues that had a bearing on the election.
      But, like they say, “if you can’t beat em’, bring up new evidence whether fake or not”
      That is what they say right?

  • Interesting how a private citizen like Trump is being scrutinized before becoming the president. Current politicians that may be investigated when Trump gets in are doing everything to discredit him and will do whatever they can to not have him become the next commander in chief.

    He owes hardly anything to any other politician or institutional interest and can go in and do as he said “drain the swamp” and we the people can get our country back serving its people.

    • The US intelligence agencies are investigating the connection of the Trump campaign aides and their communications with the Russians during the campaign. Soon, the Trump swamp is going to be drained

        • IRT Keoni: Thanks for the link…MSM sellouts tried to prove it FAKE but failed BIG TIME!!!…None of them want to ADMIT their Great White Hope got busted with his PANTS down and sleeping with the ENEMY…#MAGA

        • LifeZette is an American news, opinion, and commentary website based in Washington, D.C.. It was founded in 2015 by conservative pundit and radio host Laura Ingraham. Typical right wing bias in reporting and wording. Also claiming this story as fake news is The Gateway Pundit. The Gateway Pundit is a hard-right website that is not afraid of conspiracy theories and the occasional flirtation with outright white supremacists. Not a credible source that occasionally publishes fake news.
          Fake news calling it fake news…

        • @ Qbcoach15
          Then deal with the PE Trump himself.
          “Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!”…PE Trump

          What say you.
          9 days….#MAGA

      • Even Trump himself didn’t think he could win the election. I doubt Putin thought he could win either. What killed Clinton was the fact that 58% of Americans distrust her and believed she was a liar. It wasn’t a vote for Trump, it was a vote against Clinton and the political establishment.

        • IRT saywhat: 100% Agree…THAT is The Truth…She had the added negativity in voters eyes of being part of the establishment and he wasn’t, THAT was the deciding factor…#MAGA

        • No it wasn’t. It was the fact that Trump was able to sell a flawed product to gullible and poorly educated voters. The same way Trump University sold fake degrees. He has a knack of being able sell things to clueless people.

        • That’s true, it was not the Russian exchanging those damaging e-mails and the numerous scandals Clinton is trying to sweep under the rug. Demoncrats lost the election because of who they have placed at the top of their ticket.

      • @ vector
        Breaking News coming out on this #FAKE NEWS you’re spewing….you’re looking like the King of Clowns. At least you’ll have your other platoon followers behind you…hope the hole is big enuf.
        You’re going to have to change your nic after today….again.

        9 days til #MAGA

    • @ Bumby
      Agree!
      AP/SA/FAKE NEWS/CNN/MSM hit piece at it again….and why are they doing that? To COVER UP their COLLUSION with Crooked hiLIARy and the DNC…DNC’s deceitful insidious despicable corrupt ways…the hacked emails EXPOSED only one thing..the TRUTH about the DEMS!
      DEMS are in total DISARRAY.
      10 more days til #MAGA happens!

        • LifeZette is an American news, opinion, and commentary website based in Washington, D.C.. It was founded in 2015 by conservative pundit and radio host Laura Ingraham. Typical right wing bias in reporting and wording. Also claiming this story as fake news is The Gateway Pundit. The Gateway Pundit is a hard-right website that is not afraid of conspiracy theories and the occasional flirtation with outright white supremacists. Not a credible source that occasionally publishes fake news.
          Fake news calling it fake news…

        • You don’t understand English JohnRicey. You say everything is fake news, so I really want to know what you consider to be legitimate news. Do you not provide links because you are unable to? If you are not able to, I apologize for unfairly testing your simple little mind. For example, even Trump wants a replacement for Obamacare, if it were really bad he would just want to repeal it. But certain concepts seem to be too traumatic for you to accept, even if Trump wants it to be so.

        • In JohnRicey’s mind, anything he believes to be anti-Trump is fake news. When it suits his needs, he even supports the Star-Advertiser stories. So the question is, if JohnRicey believes that the Star-Advertiser is fake news, why does he waste his poor little fingers typing away here? You make the call.

        • My comment is awiting moderation.

          @ el_burrito senorita
          PE Trump just blew_up CNN this morning…your “FACT” based propaganda.
          Eat CROW BURRITO with cheese.

          January 20 #MAGA

    • Of course they’ll scrutinize Trump. He’s not part of the government known as the “the Machine”. They don’t want him to throw wrench in their plans….

  • Just saw on CNN, the Russian hacking of both the Democrats and Republicans, has revealed that the Russians now have “compromising personal information and financial information about Trump”. Also Trump’s aides and surrogates were communicating with Russian operatives all during the presidential campaign. Looks like Putin has blackmailed Trump into doing his bidding.

      • The idi-t thought it would be fun to run for POTUS. Any intelligent crook would not want the world to dig into his or hers personal information. What a fuc-in dummy. He is a very shady character so he should have done what all gangsters do and stay in the shadows. No wonder that lespark was going ape sh-t last night. All he has to do is release his tax returns but now we know why he won’t. McConnel and Ryan will have bleeding ulcers by next Friday unless the imbeci-e goes into asylum with Assange. I will have a toast of Jameson’s all by my self and enjoy every precious drop. Happy New Year to all you Chumpsters.

        • Recordings front Russia might not be only of Trump; could it be The Holy Grail…First Lady “video” might be FLOTUS around…Might be a GOOD deal for Americans after all…#MAGA

        • This comments section is very entertaining. When losing libs gather it is just too funny. Keep up the good work crickets and keep us laughing. President Donald J Trump will cure all your ills. Trump 2020. Stickers now available.

        • I guess the pro Chump moderator is working tonight. No worries I’m having the time of my life. Moderation or whatever else may come my way.

    • Ohh Ohh…Emergency meeting held with Obama and Trump…Could it be, Russia holding out until Inauguration to DROP THE HAMMER!!! Good play by Master KGB Godfather Putin…This is like watching a Soap Opera…Results will be shown…after the Break…#MAGA

        • Keep it ALIVE…Fake News site unable to PROVE story is False…Has Trump held a Tweet Conference denying it??? January 20, 10 days…Putin drops the Hammer on Trump…Dont forget to send me FLOTUS link…#MAGA

        • My comment is awiting moderation.

          @ jusris
          PE Trump just blew_up CNN this morning…your “FACT” based propaganda.
          Eat CROW.

          January 20 #MAGA

        • You are correct Trump BLEW something today at the Presser…Story still hasn’t been PROVEN False…Just a bunch of But-Hurt Trumpers…Don’t be mad at the messenger be MAD at Trump for being STUPID enough to get caught…#MAGA

        • You are correct Trump BLEW something today at the Presser…Story still hasn’t been PROVEN False…Just a bunch of B*tt H*rt Trumpers…Don’t be mad at the messenger be MAD at Trump for being ‘TUPID enough to get caught…#MAGA

      • Jusris doesn’t look like it was the Chump that had the spoils on Hilliary. It was Putin and the Chump was stoopid enough to join forces with him. The rest of this espionage thriller will keep us all the edge of our seats. It looks like the Chump also took chugs of the kook aid.

        • Keoni not interested in your fabricated sites only the facts and nothing but the facts. Come to think of it haven’t seen Mike Pence in a loong time. Must be in some bar drowning his sorrows. As religious as he claims to be with all this sh-t hitting the fan only a stiff drink will calm you down.

        • @ keaukaha
          I gave you the facts.
          You wouldn’t embarrass yourself if you quit listening the other guys in your group.

          January 20 #MAGA

        • Love the Crickets when their Trump gets caught…Only able to post a Fake News source that can’t even PROVE the story was false…Keep posting the link and KEEP the story ALIVE…On a side note when your Mother Russia releases FLOTUS video send me the link…#MAGA

        • Yep Jusris the Chumpsters are in panic mode. We don’t have to do anything but sit back and enjoy our pupus with our beverage of choice.

        • @keaukaha lol^5

          Keoni don’t forget the link…January 20, 10 days ’till Release Date…#MAGA

        • @ keaukaha, jusris, Qbcoach15
          Get a room & order CROW.
          You guys LOST in a LANDSLIDE…get over it.
          We WON BIG LEAGUE.
          Read it & weep.
          “Russia just said the unverified report paid for by political opponents is “A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE.” Very unfair!”
          “Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!”
          “I win an election easily, a great “movement” is verified, and crooked opponents try to belittle our victory with FAKE NEWS. A sorry state!”
          PE Trump

          9 days til #MAGA

  • Seems to be a lot of birds singing on the condition of anonymity. With so many of these people willing to talk when they’re not supposed to, who needs hackers?

  • The question is, do we get impeachment of The Donald, and President Pence, before or after GOP congressional leaders announce they have no good alternative to Obamacare?

  • The Quinnipiac poll released today shows Trump’s favorability rating at 37%, trailing Obama by nearly 20 points, and that’s before the latest news about Russia. This isn’t just a little bit worse than any previous President-elect; it’s historically bad by a huge margin.

  • Ms. Conway is going to have a very difficult tenure. So much to explain. I don’t think she’ll last very long in this job. Unless she likes to see herself on TV a lot.

    • @ Dai
      Read it & weep a bucket
      “Kellyanne Conway has a great comeback when ABC host George Stephanopoulos asked about the supposed Russian information on Trump:
      “…nobody is allowed to talk about what occurs in these intelligence briefings,” she told the former Clinton operative. “I mean, just to smear the president-elect of the United States we now have intelligence officials divulging information that they are sworn not to divulge. We should all be very concerned about that. I don’t even think this is fake news. I think it’s just fake. I would take the word news right out of it.”

      Counselor to the PE Trump Kellyane Conway…get used to to her.

      9 days…til #MAGA January 20

  • The past eight years of Barak Obama was free of any hint of scandal or personal drama from him or his family. Donald Trump has not served a minute and already they are running around trying to put out fires. Give him a chance? He’s not giving himself a chance.

    • Can’t comment on the veracity of the documents as they are not substantiated by other sources but the quote that really tickled me was “the Kremlin “does not engage in collecting compromising material.”” 🙂

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