‘Worse than prostitutes’: Putin slams those behind Trump ‘leak’
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he has no grounds to attack or protect US President-elect Donald Trump, since he does not know him personally. He added though that those behind the recent allegations against Trump have "no moral scruples."
"I don't know Mr. Trump personally, I have never met him and don't know what he will do on the international arena. So I have no grounds to attack him or criticize him for anything, or protect him or whatever," Putin said.
Despite the fact that elections in the US are over and ended with a "solid win" for the Republican candidate, an intense political struggle continues in the US, the Russian president observed, adding that there are certain forces that aim "to undermine the legitimacy of the president-elect."
"I have an impression they practiced in Kiev and are ready to organize a Maidan in Washington, just to not let Trump take office," Putin said, apparently referring to anti-government protests in the Ukrainian capital in 2014, which resulted in the leadership being ousted.
Those anti-Trump forces in the US also want to "bind hand and foot" the newly-elected leader, Putin added. He said that in this way, they aim to interfere with the domestic and international policies outlined in Trump's presidential campaign.
By doing so, these forces "severely harm US interests," Putin said.
The campaign to discredit the president-elect shows that certain "political elites in the West, including in the US," have "significantly" worsened, according to the Russian president.
"Prostitution is an ugly social phenomenon," he told reporters, adding that people who stand behind "fabrications" being used against Trump "are worse than prostitutes."
"They have no moral scruples," he said.
The Russian leader also called the allegations that Moscow might have blackmail material on the US president-elect "evidently fake."
"When Trump visited Moscow several years ago, he wasn't a political figure. We didn't even know about his political ambitions, he was just a businessman, one of America's richest people. So does someone think that our intelligence services go after each American billionaire? Of course not, it's complete rubbish," Putin said.
Commenting on reports spread in the Western media accusing Trump of frolicking with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel, the Russian president said he doubted that a man who had been organizing beauty pageants for years and had met "some of the most beautiful women of the world" would hire call girls in the Russian capital.
Last week, a report on what was claimed to be a secret dossier, reportedly compiled by former UK intelligence officer Christopher Steele, was published by CNN and BuzzFeed. It alleged that Trump was groomed and supported by Russian intelligence and that the Kremlin was in possession of compromising material on the president-elect.
The dossier reportedly contained a bizarre story of Trump allegedly hiring prostitutes to "perform a ‘golden showers’ show in front of him" on a hotel bed in the Ritz Carlton presidential suite in the Russian capital, where Barack Obama and his wife had previously stayed.
The US president-elect, who will be inaugurated on January 20, has branded the dossier a "complete fraud," saying that intelligence insiders have confirmed to him that the allegations were fake.