Putin says people who order 'falsifications' about Donald Trump are 'worse than prostitutes'

Earlier, Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said allegations of Russian cyber attacks were fabricated

Putin says people who order 'falsifications' about Donald Trump are 'worse than prostitutes'

Image: Kremlin

Vladimir Putin has hit out at the people behind 'falsified' allegations against Donald Trump, describing them as "worse than prostitutes".

The Russian president's comments come following the publication of a dossier containing unverified allegations about Mr Trump's links with Russia.

Mr Trump, who will be sworn in on Friday, has dismissed the dossier, saying it was "made up" and based on "phony facts".

Moscow said the claims were "fake" and had been whipped up to damage Russian ties with Washington.

The dossier was commissioned by a Washington firm on behalf of Mr Trump's political opponents.

It looks at alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, claiming the Kremlin cultivated and supported Mr Trump for at least five years, also feeding him intelligence on political rivals including Hillary Clinton.

It claims Russia had gathered embarrassing allegations against Mr Trump during a visit to Moscow years ago, which could be used to blackmail him.

However, media organisations have been unable to verify the allegations contained within the document, which was published in full by BuzzFeed.

In comments reported by AFP, Mr Putin said: "The people who order falsifications of the kind that are now circulating against the US President-elect - they are worse than prostitutes, they don't have any moral limits at all.

"The fact that such methods are being used against the US president-elect is a unique case: nothing like this has happened before. This shows a significant level of degradation of the political elite in the West."

"Complete rubbish"

The Russian president also dismissed allegations that his intelligence agencies had been spying on the President-elect during past visits to Russia.

Quoted by RT, Mr Putin said: "When Trump visited Moscow several years ago, he wasn't a political figure. We didn't even know about his political ambitions, he was just a businessman, one of America's richest people.

"So does someone think that our intelligence services go after each American billionaire? Of course not, it's complete rubbish," he added.

Earlier, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said allegations of Russian cyber attacks were fabricated, amid allegations from the United States that Moscow tried to influence November's US election.

The minister told a press conference that US intelligence agencies who had tried to prove Mr Trump had links to Russia have drawn a blank and should be fired.

Mr Lavrov said Moscow is hopeful of better relations with the US based on respect for mutual interests once Mr Trump is inaugurated, in contrast with the "messianic" approach of Mr Obama.

He said Russia expects to have a dialogue with Mr Trump on nuclear weapons, which could include hypersonic weapons, a US missile shield in Europe, space weapons and nuclear testing.

Mr Lavrov said he would like to see Mr Trump's team made up of pragmatic people "who will not engage in moralising and will try to understand the interests of their partners just as they clearly uphold their own interests".