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Donald Trump told Russia has compromising information on him: report

Top U.S. intelligence officials reportedly gave classified documents last week to President-elect Donald Trump that detailed accounts that Russian intelligence had damaging information on him.

The CNN report Tuesday afternoon cited “multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the briefings” given to the president-elect and President Obama.

“Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump,” CNN reported.

A two-page document containing the intelligence reports was included as part of briefings given to Mr. Trump and Mr. Obama, CNN reported, though the network could not confirm whether Mr. Trump personally discussed it with his briefers.

To emphasize the gravity of the matter, CNN reported, Mr. Trump was briefed by the four most-senior U.S. intelligence officials — CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, and Adm. Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency.

CNN did not describe the specifics of the information Russia claims to have over Mr. Trump.

The network reported that the FBI is “investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations … but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Mr. Trump.”

The Trump campaign did not comment on the reports.

The origin of the accusations, CNN reported, is a British intelligence source whom it described as a “former MI6 agent, who was posted in Russia in the 1990s and now runs a private intelligence gathering firm.”

The two-page briefing paper was based on a 35-page compilation of the British source’s memos, which were seen by CNN.

Those shorter paper contained the corroborating claim that surrogates for the Trump campaign were engaged in “a continuing exchange of information” with “intermediaries for the Russian government” during the 2016 presidential race.

CNN cited “two national-security officials” for that claim, though the network also noted as corroboration, the late-campaign behavior of then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

As the most senior Democrat in his chamber, Mr. Reid was part of the “Gang of 8” lawmakers (each party’s leader and ranking intelligence committee member in each chamber) who get the most-sensitive level of intelligence briefings. The accusations in the two-page U.S. memo and the British official’s compilation had been floating around all summer, CNN reported.

Shortly after Mr. Comey publicly notified Congress that he had reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server, a furious Mr. Reid wrote to him publicly and alluded in vague terms to intelligence about Mr. Trump and Russia.

“It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government,” wrote Mr. Reid.

Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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