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Allegations cast shadow over Trump’s long-delayed press conference

Allegations that Russian intelligence officials have compromising information about U.S. President-elect Donald Trump are sure to dominate a long-delayed news conference set for Wednesday.

The news conference was to have focused on how he will separate himself from his business interests.

A synopsis of the allegations was attached to the end of a report by U.S. intelligence agencies on Russian interference in last year’s presidential election, according to broadcaster CNN.

It included graphic details about Trump’s activities with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel which were filmed by the Russian secret service in order to potentially blackmail him in the future, the New York Times reported.

Trump dismissed the report as “fake news’’ on Twitter just hours ahead of his first news conference since being elected Nov. 9.

The event had originally been scheduled for Dec. 15 before being cancelled and rescheduled he has not held a press conference since July.

Reporters will also likely press Trump on his business interests and potential conflicts of interest and plans for after his takes office on Jan. 20, including his demand for the repeal of President Barack Obama’s signature health insurance reforms and other policies.

More than half of Americans are concerned about Trump’s transparency in outlining his plans and 57 per cent express concern about potential conflicts of interest in his administration, a poll released Tuesday by the Pew Research Centre found.

The press conference conflicts with a confirmation hearing for Trump’s choice for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, and transportation secretary nominee Elaine Chao.

Central Intelligence Agency head nominee Mike Pompeo had also been due to have a hearing on Wednesday, but the hearing was moved amid concern by Democrats about the rush of confirmation hearings.

Trump has turned the media landscape on its head, frequently bashing the media and preferring to issue comments via Twitter than to take questions from reporters.


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