President-elect Donald Trump holds his first news conference in nearly six months on Wednesday, amid explosive allegations over his ties to Russia, a little more than a week before his inauguration.
According to an earth-shattering new report circulating in US media, American intelligence believes Russians have deeply compromising personal and financial information on Trump. US spy chiefs reportedly told the president-elect about the allegations last week.
Citing “multiple” unnamed US officials with direct knowledge of the meeting, CNN said intelligence chiefs presented a two-page synopsis on the potential embarrassment for America’s incoming 45th president.
President Barack Obama, who delivered his farewell address late Tuesday, was also briefed on the issue, CNN reported, giving no details of the allegedly compromising information.
Several US media outlets published — without confirming its authenticity — a 35-page dossier on which the synopsis is based, and which had been circulating in Washington circles.
No other US president-elect in modern times has waited so long to go formally before the media, considered important to shore up public accountability, yet Trump has gloried in ripping up the rule book.
The New York billionaire, never previously elected to office, has preferred to make off-the-cuff statements, punch out incendiary tweets, antagonize China and name call anyone who dares cross him from Oscar-winning legend Meryl Streep to an Indiana union leader.
And he roundly dismissed accusations of a cozy and possibly compromising relationship with Russia, a controversy which almost certainly will be raised by journalists Wednesday.
“FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!” the president-elect tweeted on Tuesday.
While he has conducted one-on-one interviews with select media and taken questions from reporters at informal settings, his performance will be scrutinized as polls show his already bleak approval ratings deteriorate further as the clock ticks down to inauguration.