Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday scoffed at a suggestion that Moscow had some compromising dossier on Donald Trump, following talks with the US leader.
“It’s hard to imagine greater nonsense,” Putin told a news conference alongside the US president after several hours of talks during the two leaders’ first summit.
“Please get this rubbish out of your heads,” Putin added.
Trump’s critics at home have repeatedly accused the US president of cosying up to Putin, suggesting the Russian leader may have some compromising material on him.
“When Mr Trump would come to Moscow as a businessman, I did not even know he was in Moscow,” Putin told the news conference.
“More than 500 US businessmen — of the highest rank — came for the Saint Petersburg economic forum,” Putin said, referring to an annual economic forum in Russia’s second city. “I don’t even remember their last names,” he said, denying that Russia spied on them.
“What are you thinking? That we are organising operational work over each of them and collecting some sort of compromising material?”
The billionaire businessman visited Russia several times before he was elected US president in 2016.
Trump for his part blamed bad relations between Moscow and Washington on the US investigation into alleged Russian election meddling.
Both the US and Kremlin leaders have furiously denied Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.