The Kremlin has strongly denied claims Russia’s intelligence agencies have compromising material about Donald Trump.
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the allegations were “pulp fiction” and a “clear attempt to damage relations”.
The unsubstantiated claims say Donald Trump’s presidential campaign secretly communicated with Moscow. They also say Russia has information about Donald Trump involving prostitutes.
The president-elect has condemned the reports.
He responded on Twitter: “FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!”
Later on January 11, Donald Trump went on to write: “Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!”
Donald Trump is due to hold a news conference on January 11, nine days before he takes office.
It was meant to be about his attempts to separate himself from his business commitments, to address concerns about conflicts of interest.
However, it now comes at an awkward time for Donald Trump.
Last week, US intelligence agencies released an unclassified report saying Russia ran a hacking campaign to influence the US presidential elections.
Separate reports circulating in media now say Russia has damaging information about Donald Trump’s business interests and salacious video evidence of his private life.
Among the claims included in a 35-page dossier are that Donald Trump’s aides were involved with the alleged Russian hack of the Democratic Party of his rival Hillary Clinton.
Michael Cohen, a lawyer to Donald Trump named in the memos, has denied a specific claim that he went to Prague in August or September 2016 to meet Kremlin representatives to talk about the hacking.
“I’ve never been to Prague in my life. #fakenews,” he tweeted.
Media suggest the videos were prepared as “kompromat” – compromising material collected about a politician or public figure in order to create a threat of negative publicity, if needed.