Donald Trump did not get briefed on a document summarizing explosive accusations about the president-elect's ties to Russia, a senior U.S. intelligence official with knowledge of the preparation told NBC News.
The summary of a 35-page dossier originally created as part of anti-Trump opposition research was included in material prepared for those briefing Trump, multiple officials told NBC. But it was not given to Trump's team, the senior official told NBC. The document was given to the briefers so that they could make the distinction between analyzed intelligence and "disinformation."
The senior official told NBC News that no investigations found any conclusive or direct link between Trump and the Russian government.
Trump on Wednesday said he has "nothing to do with Russia" and argued that he is the victim of political attacks after the reports that intelligence officials possessed briefing material with damaging accusations about ties to Moscow. On Twitter, Trump called the reports "unfair" and said, "Russia has never tried to use leverage over me." Trump claimed that he has "no deals, no loans, no nothing" with Russia, an assertion that is difficult to verify because he has not released his tax returns, unlike every president since Jimmy Carter.
Appearing Tuesday evening on NBC's "Late Night with Seth Meyers," Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway dismissed the reports as having possibly originated with a Russian investigator or groups that wanted Hillary Clinton to win the election.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also dismissed the allegations, calling them "an absolute fabrication and utter nonsense." Trump cited the Kremlin's denial on Twitter.