Everything you need to know about the secret dossier detailing what Russia allegedly has on Trump

Late news broke of a salacious but completely uncorroborated dossier on Donald Trump, hackers and prostitutes. The president-elect tried to dismiss it as “fake news” at a news conference Wednesday and refused to take questions from CNN because it reported the details. What follows is all you need to know about the damning dossier.

What does the dossier say?

The dossier, comprising a series of memos, alleges secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow about into Democratic accounts. Its most explosive claims describe sex videos involving Donald Trump and prostitutes at a Moscow hotel in 2013. According to the dossier, FSB spies secretly taped Trump watching prostitutes he hired peeing on the Ritz Carlton Hotel bed Barack and Michelle had slept in during an official trip to . Trump was in Moscow at the time to help organize a Miss Universe pageant. The videos were supposedly recorded as “kompromat,” a Russian word used to describe compromising material that can be used to gain leverage.

Who wrote it?

The dossier was compiled mainly by a retired British operative who received from Russian informants and others. Christopher Steele, 52, was an MI6 agent posted in Russia in the 1990s. Now the head of a London-based private gathering firm, he prepared the dossier for a Washington political and corporate research firm during last year’s campaign. The research was initially funded by Republican opponents, and later by .
Steele is said to have fled his Surrey home on Wednesday after being publicly identified. A source told The Daily Telegraph Steele fears retribution from Moscow and is “terrified for his safety.”

Who has seen it?

A two-page summary of the dossier was submitted in a report to Barack Obama and Trump and shown to them in an intelligence briefing on Russian hacking last Friday. Intelligence agencies considered it so potentially explosive that they decided Obama, Trump and congressional leaders needed to be told about it and that the agencies were actively investigating it.

However, details of the 35-page dossier began circulating in the fall and were widely known among journalists and politicians in Washington. Mother Jones first reported on the dossier’s existence on Oct. 31, one week before the election. But the mainstream media did not pick up the story because reporters were unable to confirm the details. On Tuesday evening, CNN reported that Obama and Trump were shown classified documents that said Russian intelligence agents were claiming to have compromising personal and financial information about Trump. Buzzfeed went furthur, repeating the dossier’s and most salacious details.

What does Trump say:

Trump is criticizing U.S. intelligence agencies over the leak of the unsubstantiated report, tweeting Wednesday that “Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ’leak’ into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?”

“I think it’s a disgrace that information would be let out. I saw the information, I read the information outside of that meeting,” he said, referring to the classified briefing he received last Friday. “It’s all fake news, it’s phoney stuff, it didn’t happen.”

Responding to the Kremlin’s denial Wednesday, Trump tweeted: “Russia just said the unverified report paid for by political opponents is ‘A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE.’ Very unfair!”
Later, Trump added in a follow-up post: “Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!”

As to cyberattacks against the Democrats during the U.S. election, for the first time Wednesday Trump said he believes Russia is responsible for hacking. “But I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people,” he said.

What do the Russians say?

Russia has denied having any compromising material on Trump, saying on Wednesday the dossier was “pulp fiction” intended to hurt Russian-American relations and undermine Trump’s stated goal of improving ties with the country.

“You have to react to this with a certain humour, but there’s also a sad side to this. Hysteria is being whipped up to maintain a political witch hunt,” Dmitry S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, said at a regular news briefing.

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