Obama, Trump briefed on claim Russia has compromising information on Trump

By Stephen Feller  |  Jan. 10, 2017 at 9:15 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Intelligence officials who briefed President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump about Russia's possible meddling in the 2016 presidential election included an addendum claiming Russia has compromising personal and financial information on Trump, according to reports.

The FBI and CIA are investigating claims by a former British spy that Russia has information on Trump that could be used against him. They have not yet verified it, but CNN reports the agencies find the spy's report to be credible.

The information was included in a two-page addendum to the official report on the alleged Russian-led efforts to gain access to servers and email accounts of the Democratic Party and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to disparage her campaign.

While the British spy's report has not been corroborated, the addendum was included to make Trump aware that Russia also sought and obtained damaging information on him, but chose not to release it.

Among the allegations, some of which were published last October by Mother Jones, are that Trump campaign surrogates had repeated contact with Russian operatives -- which was seemingly confirmed last year by a member of the Russian foreign ministry -- and other information about his finances.

Trump tweeted his reaction late Tuesday, calling the reports "fake news" and "a total political witch hunt."

The two-page summary is based on a 35-page report by a former British spy who, while considered to have been reliable by the intelligence agencies in the past, was hired by Democratic and anti-Trump operatives to assemble a dossier of information that could possibly be used against him in the election.

The agencies are working to verify claims in the dossier, which Buzzfeed published in full Tuesday night after it was reported that both Trump and Obama had received briefings on some of its contents.

The dossier has been referenced in some earlier media reports but had not previously been published in full because news organizations could not verify vast swaths of the information it contains.

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