President-elect Donald Trump is about to hold his first press conference in six months.
Trump is scheduled to take questions at Trump Tower beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. The press conference can be streamed in the embedded YouTube player via ABC News.
The president-elect announced this event last week, saying it would be a general news conference. Throughout the final months of his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly dodged members of the press and refused to hold press conferences despite having previously mocked Hillary Clinton for not making herself available to the media.
This event has been made much more interesting by the fact that on Monday, CNN reported that intelligence officials told Trump last week that Russian operatives claim to have compromising information on him. This claim comes from a former British intelligence operative, whose memos also allege that members of Donald Trump’s staff were in communication with the Russian government throughout the presidential election and that Russia has been cultivating and assisting Trump for years. The memos were originally compiled as opposition research for anti-Trump Republicans and then for Democrats.
Although CNN did not publish the actual report in question, BuzzFeed did; the document includes several outrageous and sexually graphic allegations. It has been circulating for several months but had not been previously published by any news organization because its contents are completely unverified. The FBI is believed to be in the process of investigating these claims.
Trump’s initial reaction to the story was to declare in all caps that it is “fake news” and a political witch hunt, although he did not specify what elements of the story are fake. For example, Trump did not say if it’s false that he was briefed on this information last week, or if he merely means that the allegations in the memo are false.
In the morning, Trump said that Russia has never tried to use leverage over him and that he has no financial stake in Russia, something that will remain unproven until Trump releases his tax returns. And a few hours before speaking with the press, Trump complained about this memo being leaked to the press and compared the situation to Nazi Germany.
It was widely expected that Trump would cancel this press conference after the Russia story broke, but so far, it is still scheduled to occur at 11:00 a.m.