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RUSSIA DENIES CLAIMS IT IS HOLDING COMPROMISING MATERIAL ABOUT PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP

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(The Independent newspaper) Russia has responded to potentially compromising allegations about Donald Trump attached to a classified US intelligence report, saying the “fake” claims have been produced with the aim of damaging Moscow’s ties with Washington.

In a statement, the Kremlin said it had no “compromising information” about either Mr Trump or his 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton, and dismissed memos compiled by a former British intelligence official as “total bluff”.

Speaking in his daily briefing to reporters on Wednesday, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “The Kremlin has no compromising information on Trump. This report does not correspond to reality and is nothing but an absolute fiction.

“This is a total bluff, an absolute fabrication, complete nonsense,” he said.

The allegations, included as an addendum to a classified briefing on Russian hacking to President Barack Obama and Mr Trump on, were compiled by a former British spy as part of paid-for political opposition research.

The report details “perverted sexual acts” involving prostitutes alleged to have taken place in a hotel room in Moscow. The suggestion is that the claims could have been used by Russia to compromise the incoming US President.

A two-page summary of the former British spy’s findings alleges that Mr Trump was groomed by Russia for five years leading up to the election, that Moscow maintained contact with Trump surrogates throughout the 2016 campaign, and that the Kremlin also maintained a dossier of damaging information about Mr Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton.

Asked if the Clinton element of the allegations was true, Mr Peskov said: “Of course not. The Kremlin does not collect compromising information. The Kremlin [and] the Russian president are engaged in building relationships with our foreign partners, firstly – in the interests of the Russian Federation, in the interests of the Russian people, secondly – in the interests of global peace, stability and security.”

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