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‘Total phony-baloney garbage…total crap’: Trump chief of staff dismisses Russia report published by BuzzFeed

reince priebus

MSNBC

Incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus on “Morning Joe.”

President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming chief of staff denounced BuzzFeed’s decision to publish an unverified memo that claimed Russian intelligence possesses compromising information about Trump and that its operatives fed the president-elect’s campaign information about political opponents.

On “Morning Joe” on Wednesday, Reince Priebus repeatedly declared that the report was “based on garbage, it’s total crap.”

“The BuzzFeed memo, the salacious details in that memo, all of those things are total phony-baloney garbage. It never happened. It isn’t true,” Priebus said.

When asked about a related Tuesday CNN report which said US intelligence presented Trump a synopsis based on the document, Priebus did not explicitly deny the claim, but said he personally attended Friday’s meeting but did not see the memo before BuzzFeed published the document on Wednesday.

“What created the BuzzFeed article, and I think most of what CNN’s been talking about, I’m not watching it 24/7, is based on this document from this opposition research guy that is based on nothing, that’s not true,” Priebus said. 

Earlier in the interview, he asserted: “I was in the room, OK? On Friday. The first I heard of all of this salacious garbage was when someone printed out this document last night. So it’s not like we’re sitting around talking about hotel rooms and meetings in Prague for four days now.”

Priebus took care to deny the claim that longtime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen met with Russian intelligence agents in Prague in August, saying that Cohen was in southern California at the time the memo claimed he was meeting with Russian agents abroad.

Priebus’ claims came as the president-elect himself took to Twitter to dismiss the report, which he dubbed “fake news” on Tuesday.

Though BuzzFeed’s memo immediately set off an internet firestorm, as graphic details became trending topics on social media, even some left-leaning commentators urged caution before embracing the report’s veracity.

“This is the rawest kind of ‘intel’, if that is even the right word for it. I would caution everyone to maintain a sensible skepticism even if you rightly believe that Trump is a danger to the republic,” Talking Points Memo editor Josh Marshall wrote.

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