Vladimir Putin calls creators of 'fake' Donald Trump dossier 'worse than prostitutes'

Russian President claims international conspiracy working to 'delegitimise' the President-elect

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The Independent Online

Vladimir Putin has claimed there is a conspiracy to “delegitimise” Donald Trump and said the people who ordered a dossier of compromising personal information on the President-elect were “worse than prostitutes”.

The Russian President claimed reports of Russia gathering intelligence on Mr Trump were false, adding: “Our security services do not chase every US billionaire.”

“I don't know Mr Trump, I have never met him, I don't know what he will do in the international arena, so I have no reason either to attack him, criticise him or defend him,” he added, according to a translation by the state-owned Sputnik news agency.

Following Mr Trump’s shock election victory in November, he vowed to meet the Russian leader “soon” to repair relations badly damaged by the Ukrainian and Syrian conflicts.

The pair have made several warm overtures towards each other, with the President-elect repeating praise for his counterpart even after American intelligence agencies accused Russia of being behind hacking to interfere in the US election.

Mr Putin compared the situation in America to that during the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, when Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted by waves of protest.

“It seems that they practiced this in Kiev and now are ready to organise a ‘Maidan’ in Washington not to let Trump assume office,” he said, implying the methods were part of an international conspiracy to “delegitimise” Mr Trump.

The Kremlin previously denied gathering compromising information on Mr Trump after the allegations were released in a dossier compiled by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele.

He was hired by the Republican candidate's political opponents but decided to pass the information to both British and American intelligence services.

Among the colourful claims was an allegation that Mr Trump had paid prostitutes to carry out an obscene sex act in a hotel room formerly used by Barack and Michelle Obama.

“He's a man who has been organising beauty competitions, he's met the most beautiful women in the world," Mr Putin said. "I find it hard to imagine he ran to a hotel to meet our girls of ‘low social responsibility’, though they are of course also the best in the world."

The Russian President called prostitution an "ugly social phenomenon”, adding: “But people who order such fakes which are now used against the elected President of the United States, fabricate information and use it in the political struggle, they are worse than prostitutes, they have no moral limits.”

The Kremlin has stated that it does not collect compromising material on foreign politicians or businessmen, and has denied any role in cyber attacks during the US election.