In response to rumors of Russia’s possession of compromising material on President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin couldn’t help but chuckle before dancing around the point and concluding with a request to not “think about this anymore again.”

On Monday, the two leaders held a press conference following their private meeting, where Putin was asked, ”Does the Russian government have any compromising material on President Trump or his family?”


The Russian president left reporters with a vague answer, never giving a clear and explicit “no.” Instead, he insisted that he didn’t even know, nor really care about Trump at the time, as he was merely a “private individual, a businessman.” Rumors claimed Putin had collected compromising material, specifically the infamous “pee tape,” on the president during his visit to Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.


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The tape in question reportedly shows Trump in the presidential suite at Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel, watching two prostitutes pee on a bed that the Obamas had previously slept in. Supposedly, the act was caught on tape by the FSB, Russia’s main state security agency which had microphones and hidden cameras in many of the hotel’s rooms at the time. The report was initially released by Russian specialist Christopher Steele in his Steele dossier comprised of multiple intelligence reports.

Putin ditched the rumors, claiming that “When President Trump was at Moscow back then I didn’t even know that he was in Moscow.”

Back in December of 2017, however, a business associate of Trump’s, Rob Gladstone, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Russian president had been informed of Trump’s presence. Apparently, there had been talks about arranging a meeting between the two, but “Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, called through Aras [Agalarov, host of the pageant] to speak to Mr. Trump and gave his apologies that, due to the tardiness of the King of Holland, he was unable to schedule a meeting for Mr. Trump.”

In an interview with the Washington Post, Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov corroborated the testimony, confirming that Putin canceled at the last minute, but sent a decorative lacquered box, a traditional Russian gift, and a friendly note in his place.

Some have speculated that Trump’s belly up attitude during the summit was an attempt at placating the Russian leader and keep any threats to his personal reputation at bay. 

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