President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday cited his fear of germs as a reason a salacious claim in an unverified memo published by BuzzFeed was untrue.
During his long-awaited press conference from Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, the president-elect addressed the bombshell Tuesday reports that said intelligence chiefs presented him information about unverified Russian claims to have intelligence that could compromise him both personally and financially.
The BuzzFeed report contained the full dossier other media outlets were referencing but did not publish, and a claim within it said that Trump engaged in provocative sexual acts involving urine in a Russian hotel room.
On Wednesday, a reporter asked Trump about possibly being blackmailed, citing the uncorroborated Tuesday reports.
The president-elect said he’s “extremely careful” in foreign countries because he claimed to know foreign nations sometimes put cameras in the hotel rooms of high-profile visitors, and that, although he wasn’t sure if Russia does, he would “put them in that category” to be concerned about.
“You better be careful,” Trump said. “Or you will be watching yourself on nightly television.”
He then asked: “Did anyone really believe that story?”
“I’m also very much of a germaphobe, by the way,” he added.
The press conference opened with incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer and Vice President-elect Mike Pence roiling reporters who published the uncorroborated report.
Pence called the reporting “false and unsubstantiated” and said its publishing “can only be attributed to media bias and an attempt to demean the president elect and our incoming administration.”
Spicer said the BuzzFeed story was a “sad and pathetic” attempt to get clicks.
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