Speed Reads


Putin spokesman denies reports that the Kremlin collected 'compromising information' on Donald Trump

On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed a report from the U.S. intelligence community that asserted Russia tried to sway the U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump, saying the "amateurish" findings are "reminiscent of a witch hunt." On Tuesday, CNN and other news organizations reported that a former British MI6 agent had found evidence that Russia has "compromising personal and financial information" on Trump, and after Trump tweeted that the new allegations were "A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT," Peskov said early Wednesday that "the Kremlin has no compromising information on Trump."

"This report does not correspond to reality and is nothing but an absolute fiction," Peskov told reporters. "This is a total bluff, an absolute fabrication, complete nonsense.... The Kremlin does not collect compromising information." Whether or not that's true, technically, neither does the White House; typically, intelligence gathering is done by spy agencies. "The Kremlin might not" collect "kompromat," or compromising information, "but the FSB probably does," notes Politico's Jake Sherman, referring to the Russian successor to the KGB.