On Wednesday, Buzzfeed released a dossier allegedly prepared by a former British intelligence official on Donald Trump. 

While it said it was unable to verify the contents of the dossier, the ‘information’ in the dossier included claims like: 

  • Trump had hired prostitutes to urinate on the bed in the Moscow Ritz Carlton in which Barack Obama and wife Michele had slept in during their visit to Moscow
  • Trump had paid bribes to further projects in St Petersburg
  • Trump had participated in sex parties in St Petersburg
  • Trump’s campaign had worked with Russia to hack and release controversial Democrat emails 
b’Trump has been accused of benefiting due to Russian help | Source: Reuters’

Trump went on a tweet offensive

The President-elect was understandably not amused and tweeted: 

Kremlin denies all claims

The Kremlin on Wednesday denied claims that Russia gathered compromising information on US President-elect Donald Trump, saying they were aimed at damaging Moscow’s relations with Washington.

“The Kremlin does not have compromising information on Trump,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

b’Russia has denied all the allegations against it | Source: Reuters’

He called the claims published by US media outlet Buzzfeed, attributed to a former British intelligence operative, as “total fake” and “an obvious attempt to harm our bilateral relations”.

The claims are aimed at “keeping relations (with the United States) in a state of deterioration,” instead of becoming constructive, Peskov said.

He also denied allegations that the Kremlin gathered such material on the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, saying that “the Kremlin does not work on gathering compromising information”.

b’Trump has called the allegations against Russia propaganda | Source: Reuters’

The Kremlin spokesman described the dossier as “pulp fiction,” adding that “undoubtedly you need to react to this with a degree of humour”.

But he said that it showed “there are people whipping up hysteria in order to maintain this atmosphere of a witch hunt”.

The Kremlin works to “arrange relations of the Russian president with our Western partners firstly in the interests of the Russian people and secondly in the interests of global peace and security,” Peskov insisted. 

Criticism for Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed has also come in for criticism from other media houses for releasing controversial, but unverified documents in the public domain. 

But it’s editor stood by the documents that have been handed over to the FBI by Senator John McCain last month. Trump and Obama have reportedly been briefed on it also.

However, the Guardian pointed out multiple media outlets had obtained and reviewed the documents but hadn’t published it “because there was no way to independently verify them.”

Even an article in Poynter said that “the act of publishing the dossier in its entirety isn’t journalism.” “Vetting the document and determining its veracity? That’s the work of journalists in 2017, or any other year,” it said.