The Cable

What a Day for Trump’s First Press Conference

Trump poised to give his first post-election press conference on the heels of a salacious report.


On Wednesday, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will hold his first press conference since his election. It falls on the same day as hearings for his key national security picks — and also less than 24 hours after the publication of an unverified document purporting to detail Trump ties to Russia landed like a ton of bricks.

BuzzFeed first published the dossier, although it had been circling journalistic and government circles for weeks. The short (but still unverified) version of the at times self-contradictory report is that Russia may have had blackmail material — kompromat, if you will — on the president-elect, and so worked to help get him into office that he might do the Kremlin’s bidding.

In responding to the allegations, Trump went high. He took to Twitter.

Trump tweeted a story from Lifezette — an online publication run by Trump ally Laura Ingraham that itself was called a fake news site by The Intercept — pushing back against the claims in the document Buzzfeed released.

On Wednesday morning, he reached for his phone early, tweeting Russia’s assurances that it had no dirt on him. Though it’s unclear just how much credence U.S. intelligence agencies gave the document, which came from a British source, Trump blamed the intelligence community for allowing the fake news to be released. Then he asked, “Are we living in Nazi Germany?”

Also, to refute claims he was under the Russian government’s thumb, Trump cited the Russian government:

That would be news to his son, who in 2008 boasted at a New York real estate conference, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.” He added, ““we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Emily Tamkin is the U.S. editor of the New Statesman and the author of The Influence of Soros, published July 2020. Twitter: @emilyctamkin

Robbie Gramer is a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @RobbieGramer

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