Multiple government and intelligence officials tell CBS News that an annex to the classified intelligence report on Russia’s efforts to interfere in the U.S. election contained unverified details of potentially compromising information that Russia has gathered on President-elect Donald Trump.
The officials tell CBS News that the information originally came from a former British intelligence officer and was eventually turned over to U.S. intelligence as well as other government officials last year.
U.S. intelligence is in the process of corroborating the details of what the Russians may have, but the officials tell CBS News that the former British investigator and his network is credible. Because this information is so sensitive, the annex was not part of the classified report that was distributed to a wider group of people last week.
A source tells CBS News it was part of the most classified report, that only would have been presented to the president, the president-elect and Gang of 8, which is compromised of the top Democrat and Republican in the House and the Senate and the chair and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence committees.
It is unclear whether this was actually discussed with Mr. Trump or just part of the materials presented to him during his briefing last Friday.
Mr. Trump seemed to respond to the report on Twitter, calling it fake news and a total political witch hunt.
FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Mr. Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen disputed parts of an unverified copy of the report published by Buzzfeed, calling it, “a fake news story.” The Buzzfeed document claimed Cohen went to Prague to meet with Russian officials and that he is in a “covert relationship with Russia.”
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) January 11, 2017
“There is no truth to any of the statements in the reports,” Cohen said to CBS News. “I’ve never been to Prague. In September, I was taking my son to meet with the USC coach. In July of 2016, I was in Capri with my wife for her birthday. I’ve never been to Russia.”