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Fake news or not? Two-page summary of info that could be damaging to Trump

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Fake news or not? Two-page summary of info that could be damaging to Trump

Fake news or not? Two-page summary of info that could be damaging to Trump

Last week, the nation’s chief officials of intelligence agencies presented President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump with a summary of unsubstantiated reports that Russia had collected compromising and salacious personal information about Mr. Trump. The summary, which consists of 2 pages, was presented as an appendix to the intelligence agencies’ report on Russian hacking efforts during the election, according to officials. It is based on memos generated by political operatives seeking to derail Trump’s candidacy. Details of the reports began circulating in the fall and were widely known among journalists and politicians in Washington.

Intelligence officials were concerned that the information would leak before they informed the president-elect of its existence, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about it publicly.

Since the intelligence agencies’ report on Friday that Russian president Vladimir Putin had ordered the hacking and leaks of Democratic emails in order to hurt his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, and help the real estate mogul, Trump and his aides have said that Democrats are trying to mar his election victory.

On Wednesday, Trump lashed out on Twitter and wrote:

The appendix summarized opposition research memos prepared mainly by a retired British intelligence operative for a Washington political and corporate research firm, which was paid for its services first by Trump’s Republican rivals and later by supporters of Hillary Clinton.

The memos suggest that the Russian government of Mr. Putin has looked for ways to influence Trump for many years, who has traveled repeatedly to Moscow to oversee the Miss Universe competition (which he owned for several years) or investigate real estate deals.  Although Trump has discussed major deals in Russia for many years, he never fulfilled them.

The memos also describe sex videos involving prostitutes with Trump when he visited a hotel in Moscow in 2013. The videos were supposedly prepared as “kompromat,” or compromising material, with the possible goal of blackmailing him in the future. The memos suggest that Russian officials proposed various lucrative deals, as disguised bribes to secure an influence over Trump. Also included is a description of several purported meetings during the 2016 presidential campaign between Trump representatives and Russian officials to discuss matters of mutual interest, including the Russian hacking of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John D. Podesta and the Democratic National Committee.

Some of the claims in the memos, although yet to be proven, sound extremely serious and damaging to the president-elect. As he marches on to be inaugurated as President of the United States, will he be found guilty of any of them?

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