Putin Accuses Obama Administration of Spreading False Info About Trump
Russian President Vladimir Putin has blamed the outgoing U.S. administration of attempting to undercut President-elect Donald Trump by spreading erroneous information.
At a Moscow news conference Tuesday, Putin said last week's release of an unverified dossier containing salacious allegations about Trump was part of an effort by U.S. President Barack Obama's administration to "undermine the legitimacy of the president-elect" in spite of Trump's "convincing" presidential win.
Putin described as "fake" an allegation in the dossier that Trump engaged in sexual activities at a Moscow hotel in 2013. Putin added that those responsible for the allegations are "worse than prostitutes," and he questioned why Trump would "need prostitutes" when he has "been with the most beautiful women in the world."
Trump has blamed the intelligence community for leaking unsubstantiated information, which also linked Trump to the Russian government, and questioned whether Central Intelligence Director John Brennan was responsible.
In a Twitter post last week, the president-elected compared the intelligence community to Nazi Germany.
Obama Commutes Sentence of Military Documents Leaker Chelsea Manning
President Barack Obama has commuted the prison sentence of former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who leaked hundreds of thousands of military documents to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013. She now will be freed in May.
She is among 209 prison commutations and 64 pardons Obama issued Tuesday as his presidency draws to a close. Most of the others were serving sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.
Chelsea Manning was formerly Bradley Manning when he handed over more than 700,000 classified U.S. military documents to WikiLeaks. They included battlefield reports from Afghanistan and Iraq, and State Department cables.
Government prosecutors argued that Manning's actions could have endangered the lives of U.S. servicemen and women.
The defense argued that Manning wanted to expose what they called the truth about U.S. military involvement, and that most of the information was worthless to anyone wanting to harm U.S. interests.
Manning admitted leaking the documents and said it was done, in part, because of his gender identity confusion.
He declared himself to be a woman after his sentencing, changed his named from Bradley to Chelsea, and said he plans to undergo a sex change surgery.