(CNSNews.com) - "I want to thank a lot of the news organizations here today because they looked at that nonsense that was released by-- maybe the intelligence agencies, who knows -- but maybe the intelligence agencies, which would be a tremendous blot on their record if they in fact did that. A tremendous blot,” President-elect Donald Trump told a news conference on Wednesday.
“Because a thing like that should have never been written, it should never have been had, and it certainly should never have been released.”
The thing that was written involves a so-called “dossier” of information allegedly compiled by the Russians, all of it unverified and highly dubious, that was nevertheless printed by the liberals at BuzzFeed. CNN did not divulge the documents printed by BuzzFeed, but it did say the intelligence community had informed both Trump and President Obama that Russia had compiled "compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump."
The Kremlin on Wednesday firmly denied collecting compromising information about Trump. President Vladimir Putin's spokesman called the report a "complete fabrication and utter nonsense."
Trump continued: “But I want to thank a lot of the news organizations for -- some of whom have not treated me very well over the years -- a couple in particular, and they came out so strongly against that fake news and the fact that it was written about, primarily by one group and one television station.”
Trump said he has great respect for the news and for freedom of the press -- but I will tell you, there were some news organizations...that were so professional, so incredibly professional, that I've just gone up a notch as to what I think of you, OK?"
Vice President-elect Mike Pence also addressed the fake news controversy, after touting the "unprecedented caliber" of the men and women whom Trump has selected to "move our nation forward."
"Perhaps that's why there's been such a concerted effort by some in the mainstream media to delegitimize this election and to demean our incoming administration.”
Pence said he supports a free press, but with freedom comes responsibility.
"And the irresponsible decision of a few news organizations to run with a false and unsubstantiated report, when most news organizations resisted the temptation to propagate this fake news, can only be attributed to media bias -- an attempt to demean the president-elect and our incoming administration, and the American people are sick and tired of it.
Trump's incoming press secretary Sean Spicer was harsher than his bosses:
"It's frankly outrageous and highly irresponsible for a left-wing blog that was openly hostile to the president-elect’s campaign to drop highly salacious and flat-out false information on the Internet just days before he takes the oath of office.”
Spicer noted that even Ben Smith, the editor of BuzzFeed, which published the debunked information, said "there is serious reason to doubt the allegations."
And the New York Times, no friend of Trump's, refused to publish the document "because the allegations were 'totally unsubstantiated,'" the newspaper quoted its editor as saying.
"The fact that BuzzFeed and CNN made the decision to run with this unsubstantiated claim is a sad and pathetic attempt to get clicks,” Spicer said. “The report is not an intelligence report, plain and simple.
“For all the talk lately about fake news, this political witch-hunt by some in the media is based on some of the most flimsy reporting, and it's frankly shameful and disgraceful.”
In other news, President-elect Donald Trump's lawyer says he "should not be expected to destroy the company he built." Trump will put his business assets in trust, but his company will still pursue deals in the United States while he's president.