US president-elect Donald Trump has labelled the release of documents linking him with collusion with Russia and its president Vladimir Putin a 'disgrace', and admitted for the first time that he believes they were behind the hacking of the Democratic National Congress.
In his first official press conference in six months, Trump appeared at Trump Tower in New York, and was responding to the reports from Buzzfeed and CNN which claim to be from a former member of British counter-intelligence.
Trump also said that he believed a healthy relationship with Russia was an "asset, not a liability", and described the news organisations which released the unverified documents as "sick people".
"I think it's a disgrace that information would be let out... it's all fake news," Trump said. It's phony stuff, it didn't happen. It was gotten by opponents of ours. ... It was a group of opponents that got together, sick people, and they got that crap together."
"As far as hacking, I think it was Russia, but I think we also get hacked by other countries, other people," the president-elect added.
A series of reports given to FBI director James Comey by Republican senator John McCain were drawn up by a former British counter-intelligence official and published by news site Buzzfeed.
The reports are dated from June to October of 2016, and contain lurid claims about how Russia has been "cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for at least 5 years"
An attorney who spoke directly after the president-elect detailed how Trump's business interests would be "isolated" from his work in the White House.
"President elect Trump will resign from all offices he holds", said Morgan Lewis attorney Sherri Dillon. "No new foreign deals will be made whatsoever during the duration of Donald Trump's presidency," she says.
In addition, Trump also provided details of his rejection of a major property deal in Dubai that would have been worth $2bn to his company.
"Over the weekend, I was offered $2bn to do a deal in Dubai," Trump claimed. "I turned it down. I didn't have to turn it down, because as you know, I have a no-conflict situation because I'm president."
"I could actually run my business and run government at the same time. I don't like the way that looks but I would be able to do that if I wanted to."
Risk assets swooned as the president-elect began his speech, with the S&P 500
falling from 2,273.68 to 2,263.11 as of 1747GMT.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note was also lower, declining by two basis points to 2.36%.
Biotechnology issues were especially weak after Trump railed against high drug prices, with the NYSE Arca Biotech index off by 3.75% to 3,200.96.
After an initial spike higher the greenback was trading little changed versus the Mexican peso.