President-elect Donald Trump never received any summary of unsubstantiated allegations that Russian spies had collected compromising financial and sexual information about him, a highly-placed transition source told Fox News Wednesday.
The source said that intelligence officials who briefed Trump on Friday brought up the allegations verbally, but added that they were “barely mentioned in passing.”
A government source told Fox News that the intelligence community wanted to give Trump a heads-up that the allegations had been widely circulating and that a lot of media outlets were sitting on the story. The source said the claims did not constitute a “central element” of Trump’s briefing.
CNN initially reported that Trump and President Barack Obama were presented with a two-page summary that detailed the allegations. The report said the summary was attached to a broader report about Russian operatives’ activities during the 2016 election.
At a contentious press conference earlier Wednesday, Trump said that he had learned details of the allegations “outside of the meeting” with intelligence officials.
“It’s all fake news. It’s phony stuff. It didn’t happen,” Trump said, later adding. “But I read what was released and I think it’s a disgrace. I think it’s an absolute disgrace.”
Late Wednesday, Director of National Intelligence Jake Clapper released a statement saying he had contacted Trump and expressed “profound dismay” about the leaks to CNN and Buzzfeed — the latter of which published the unverified allegations in full.
“I emphasized that this document is not a U.S. Intelligence Community product and that I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC,” Clapper said. “The IC has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable, and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions.”
Fox News’ John Roberts and Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.