US intelligence agencies have briefed President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump about Russia’s possession of potentially compromising information that Kremlin might put to use to blackmail the future President, CNN reported on Tuesday (10 January). According to various other media outlets in the country, the information that Russia has includes Donald Trump’s personal and financial information, videos, and data on ‘election help’ that Kremlin can threaten to publish.
According to BuzzFeed, a person who claims to be a former British intelligence official has prepared a dossier that includes “specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations” has been “circulating among elected officials, intelligence agents, and journalists for weeks.” The briefing given to Obama and Trump, in parts, is based on this dossier.
Trump took to Twitter to respond to these allegations. This is what he said:
FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
The British intelligence officer’s dossier claims that Michael Cohen, the Trump Organization Executive Vice President and Special Counsel to Trump, was central to “the ongoing secret liaison relationship between the New York tycoon’s campaign and the Russian leadership”, adding that he met secretly with Kremlin officials in Prague in August 2016. Tweeting a picture of his passport, Cohen said he has never been to Prague.
Allegations made in the dossier have also been denied by Trump’s attorney.
It is important to note that the brief, presented by four of the senior-most US intelligence chiefs - Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan - is classified. Therefore, most of this could just be speculation. The dossier, on which the briefing was mostly based on, has a large number of errors, BuzzFeed reported.