(Vatican Radio) A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied allegations that the Kremlin has collected compromising information about U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. The comments came after Moscow already denied any involvement in a cyber hacking and propaganda campaign to influence the recent presidential elections in the United States.
Listen to the report by Stefan Bos:
"Pulp fiction". That's how Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov describes claims that Russia has compromising personal and financial information about U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
In a statement, Pescklov said the allegations are aimed at harming bi-lateral relations between the U.S. and Russia.
Even President Elect Trump reacted. He used social networking service Twitter to rubbish the allegations saying in one messages: "Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I have nothing to do with Russia – No deals, no loans, no nothing."
U.S. intelligence agencies are reported to have presented a classified report about the material, obtained by Russian agents, to both Trump and the outgoing president, Barack Obama.
After news reports were published about the briefing, Trump tweeted: "FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!"
It was attached to wider findings of alleged ongoing ties between Trump associates and the Kremlin and interference by Russia into the US election.
Though both Putin and Trump deny the allegations, the US intelligence community seems convinced about its finding.
James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, told the U.S. Senate’s Intelligence Committee: "We have high confidence that President Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election."
He added that the "goals of this campaign were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process."
Putin and the Russian government, he said, "also developed a clear preference for President-elect [Donald]) Trump.
Russia aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possibly by discrediting Secretary Clinton [as presidential candidate] and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him."
While several Republican and Democratic senators have expressed concern about the situation, possible closer ties between Trump and Putin are especially closely watched in former Soviet satellite states where officials fear it could harm their security.