Vladimir Putin: Russians didn’t monitor Trump

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that a damning dossier on US President-elect Donald Trump was “false” and dismissed allegations that his country’s security services had been monitoring Trump as “rubbish.”

Classified documents presented last week to President Barack Obama and Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings told CNN.

“These things that have been alleged are clearly false information,” Putin said during a joint news conference in Moscow with the Moldovan president.

“It is true that when he came to Moscow — I don’t remember when, a few years ago — he was not a political actor. We did not know about his political ambitions. He was just a businessman, one of the rich people of America. What do you think — we have special security services running after every American billionaire? Of course not. It is complete rubbish,” Putin added.

The Russian leader said he had never met the President-elect.

“I don’t know what he will be doing on the international stage. So I have no foundation to criticize him nor to defend him,” Putin added.

The accusations against Russian security officials were presented in a two-page synopsis, appended to a report on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The allegations came, in part, from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible. The FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources, but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Trump.

Trump dismissed the allegations as “fake news” at a news conference last week.

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