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Donald Trump Press Conference: President-elect says Russia Dossier Report 'Phony Stuff'

President-elect Donald Trump said on Wednesday that US intelligence agencies might have leaked a dossier of what he called "fake news" about how Russia had tried to sway his actions, saying the allegations were false.

Agencies

Updated:January 12, 2017, 7:50 AM IST
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Donald Trump Press Conference: President-elect says Russia Dossier Report 'Phony Stuff'
US President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in Trump Tower, Manhattan, New York, on January 11, 2017. (Image: Reuters)

New York: President-elect Donald Trump said on Wednesday that US intelligence agencies might have leaked a dossier of what he called "fake news" about how Russia had tried to sway his actions, saying the allegations were false.

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In his first formal news conference since July, Trump slammed two news organisations for reporting unsubstantiated claims about his ties to Moscow but praised other reporters for holding back.

"I think it's a disgrace that information would be let out," Trump told about 250 reporters jammed into the lobby at his New York offices.

"It's all fake news, it's phony stuff, it didn't happen," said Trump, who takes office on January 20. The dossier, which emerged late on Tuesday, was first reported by CNN. BuzzFeed published detailed elements of the report.

The Republican president-elect has long said he hopes to improve ties with Moscow, but his plans have come under intense scrutiny after US intelligence agencies concluded that Russia used cyber-attacks and other tactics to try to tilt the presidential election in his favour over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

About a dozen protesters gathered behind a police barricade across the street from Trump Tower, holding signs with slogans like "Dump Trump" and "Allegiance To America Not Russia" as Fifth Avenue traffic streamed by.

At the other end of the block, a separate group of protesters held signs with Trump sporting a Hitler moustache, and chanted, "In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America!"

The Russia news obscured what was the original purpose of the news conference: a chance for the real estate developer to describe how he will separate himself from his global business operations to avoid conflicts of interest once he takes office.

Trump, who owns hotels and golf courses as well as assets like a winery and modelling agency, will transfer all his assets into a trust and put his two sons in charge, hire an ethics adviser to review any transactions for conflicts, a Trump lawyer told reporters on Wednesday.

"I could actually run my business and run government at the same time. I don’t like the way that looks, but I would be able to do that if I wanted to," Trump said.

He appears to be still involved with his business while preparing to take office, saying he had turned down a $2 billion development deal in Dubai he had been offered over the weekend.

ALSO READ: Donald Trump to Separate Himself From Business, His Sons to be in Charge

"I didn't have to turn it down because as you know I have a no-conflict situation because I'm president," he said.

Sheri Dillon, a lawyer for Trump, said profits generated at Trump's hotels by foreign governments will be donated to the US Treasury.

The company will not enter any new deals while Trump is president, and all profits generated by Trump's hotels by foreign governments will be donated to the US Treasury, the lawyer said.

His daughter Ivanka, whose husband Jared Kushner will be a senior adviser to Trump in the White House, also will cease her management role in the Trump Organization, the lawyer said.

During the heated press conference Trump also attacked US companies who ship jobs offshore, singling out the pharmaceutical industry for high drug prices and for manufacturing overseas.

ALSO READ: Stocks Dragged Down by Donald Trump Comments

"There will be a major border tax on these companies that are leaving and getting away with murder," he told said.

Standing firm on building the controversial wall, Trump said Mexico will “reimburse us” for it, a change from his earlier stand that Mexico “will pay for the wall”.

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