The U.S. intelligence community’s top official has expressed “profound dismay” over an unverified document alleging that President-elect Donald Trump in 2013 hired prostitutes to perform “perverted” sex acts at a luxury hotel in Moscow.
James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, said in a statement that he met with Trump Wednesday evening to discuss the unsubstantiated 35-page document, which was released in its entirety by BuzzFeed earlier this week.
“I expressed my profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press, and we both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security,” Clapper said.
The Daily News cannot confirm the authenticity of the leaked dossier, which claims that Russian officials have gathered damaging information about Trump for years in order to blackmail him into cooperating with the Kremlin. The document includes lurid claims about how Trump participated in sex parties, and once supposedly instructed prostitutes to defile a Moscow hotel room that President Obama once stayed in.
Clapper stressed in his statement that he does not believe the damning document was issued or leaked by the intelligence community, although he conceded that it had for months circulated among media outlets, Congress members and Congressional staffers.
“The IC has not made any judgement that the information in this document is reliable, and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions,” Clapper said.
CNN reported on Monday that U.S. agencies recently provided Trump with a two-page synopsis on the dossier, but a spokeswoman for the President-elect claimed Tuesday that was simply not the case.
Clapper didn’t specify in his release whether Trump had been made aware of the document’s existence before its publication, only noting that the intelligence community has an obligation to make sure that lawmakers are “provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security.”
“President-elect Trump again affirmed his appreciation for all the men and women serving in the Intelligence Community,” Clapper capped the statement.
But the intelligence chief’s comments didn’t ring all that true with ones made by Trump earlier in the day.
“I think it was disgraceful, disgraceful that the intelligence agencies let any information that turned out to be so false and fake out,” Trump charged during the 58-minute Wednesday morning session that marked his first press conference as President-elect.
During the chaotic conference, Trump also accused news outlets reporting on the document of peddling in “fake news,” specifically disparaging BuzzFeed and CNN as “garbage.”
After his meeting with Clapper, Trump took to social media to double down on those comments.
“We had a great news conference at Trump Tower today. A couple of FAKE NEWS organizations were there but the people truly get what’s going on,” the President-elect tweeted.
Clapper’s apparent olive branch to Trump comes amid growing tensions between the President-elect and the spy world.
Before Wednesday’s press conference, Trump for weeks refused to accept the intelligence community’s consensus that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election in order to help him win the White House.