Donald Trump has dismissed as “fake news”, claims that Russia officials had developed compromising and embarrassing information about him in an attempt to exert influence over him.

In a tweet written entirely in capital letters, the President-elect said: “Fake news – a total political witch hunt.” For now, he provided no other details, or evidence.

The blunt comment came amid a flurry of reports that said senior US intelligence officials last week presented to both President Barack Obama and Mr Trump, a summary of unconfirmed reports that said Russia had collected compromising and salacious personal information about the 70-year-old Republican.

Reports said the information suggested that the Russian authorities had for several years looked to influence Mr Trump. They also claim that Russia was able to put together compromising information, or “kompromat”, against him.

CNN was the first to report the developments, and said the information that was collated by intelligence officials was based on memos created by political operatives opposed to Mr Trump’s candidacy. Details of the reports began circulating in government and media circles last autumn and Mother Jones magazine reported at the time that US officials were trying to assess the validity of the information.

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