In a Wednesday morning tweetstorm, President-elect Donald Trump condemned as “fake news” the new leaks to the media of alleged sex blackmail obtained by Russia. “One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?” Trump said, declaring that he has “nothing” to do with Russia. “NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!” On Tuesday, details emerged of an unsubstantiated dossier collected by a former British spy with reports Russian operatives have compromising information on Trump, involving sexual acts and Kremlin contacts with campaign staffers.
Some of the information was reportedly presented to President Obama and Trump as part of last week’s intelligence briefing on allegations that Russian had intentionally used compromising information about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to affect the U.S. presidential election, while holding back other information about Trump.
Trump has proven ties to Russia. Politico’s Michael Crowley wrote about Trump’s extensive relationship with Aras Agalarov, a billionaire Russian real-estate mogul with ties to President Vladimir Putin. The Washington Post documented Trump’s many efforts to increase his relationship, including a statement he made in a 2007 deposition: “Russia is one of the hottest places in the world for investment,” Trump said. “We will be in Moscow at some point.”
In a 2008 speech, Trump’s son Donald Jr. said: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” Without Trump’s income-tax returns, reporting on the president-elect’s financial ties to Russia will likely remain inconclusive.