President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday claimed he has "nothing to do with Russia" and argued that he is the victim of political attacks after reports that intelligence officials possessed briefing material with damaging accusations about ties to Moscow.
The FBI is not actively investigating the information, which was initially circulated among Trump opponents and has not been verified by intelligence agencies, two U.S. officials told NBC News. Those sources did not comment to NBC about the nature of the allegations.
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.
He argued that political opponents "try to belittle" his electoral victory. Trump asked, "Are we living in Nazi Germany?"
Trump's business ties to Russia are not entirely clear. In 2008, his son Donald Trump Jr. suggested that the Trump businesses have received funding from Russian investors, saying "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets," according to The Washington Post.
Appearing Tuesday evening on NBC's "Late Night with Seth Meyers," Trump adviser 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.
— NBC News contributed to this report