Penthouse offers $1m for tape

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US President-elect Donald Trump has slammed intelligence agencies, saying they may be behind media leaks.

US President-elect Donald Trump held and explosive and wideranging press conference just nine days out from his inauguration. Picture: AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY


PENTHOUSE magazine has offered to pay $1 million for the “rights” to an alleged sex tape featuring President-elect Donald Trump, after an extraordinary week in US politics.

Penthouse Global Media CEO Kelly Holland said the company is “intrigued” by reports claiming that the President-elect engaged in lewd sexual acts at a Moscow hotel.

The unverified claims were part of a dossier prepared by a former British intelligence agent and exploded onto the global stage this week when published by Buzzfeed and CNN.

The unverified story led the President-elect to dismiss the reports as “fake news” and liken US intelligence agencies to “Nazi Germany”.

He also said they could not be true because he was a “germophobe” who was always warning staff about being caught on camera.

Ms Holland said she wants to see the tapes for herself. “We at Penthouse are committed to the value of getting the story right rather than getting it first. So we are offering up to $1-million to secure exclusive rights to the FSB tapes documenting Trump’s Russian hotel hijinks. After all, seeing is believing.”

On Wednesday, the man about to become the 45th President of the USA slammed CNN and Buzzfeed as a “failing pile of garbage” and took aim at CNN’s Jim Acosta, saying “your organisation is terrible”

“I’m not going to give you a question, you are fake news,” he repeatedly told him during a press conference.

STAFF CHEER ON TRUMP

During the explosive conference intermittent cheers could be heard from the crowd.

Now reporters at the scene have revealed Donald Trump’s staffers were the ones cheering him on as he repeated claims about the “movement” that got him elected.

Mr Trump said people didn’t care about whether or not he released his tax returns and that no one would be tougher on Putin than him.

“Does anybody believe Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me?” he said, as some staffers yelled “No!” in response.

On his tax returns, he said “oh geez” to a question about when they would be released.

“I’ve never heard that before. The only ones who care about my tax returns are the reporters. I became president.”

President-elect Donald Trump used paid staff to ‘astroturf’ the effect of grassroots support during his campaign and had staff on hand to cheer at his press conference. Picture: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President-elect Donald Trump used paid staff to ‘astroturf’ the effect of grassroots support during his campaign and had staff on hand to cheer at his press conference. Picture: AP Photo/Evan VucciSource:AP

It’s not the first time Trump has enlisted support for his events. In June last year, the President-elect used a casting agency to advertise for crowds to appear in a process known as “astroturfing” to simulate grassroots support.

An email obtained by The Hollywood Reporter showed he used a New York-based casting agency to offer $50 per person for the job.

“This event is called ‘People for a Stronger America’. The entire group is a pro-small business group that is dedicated to encouraging Donald Trump and his latest ventures. This event will be televised,” the email read.

“We are looking to cast people for the event to wear T-shirts and carry signs and help cheer him in support of his announcement.”

“We understand this is not a traditional ‘background job’, but we believe acting comes in all forms and this is inclusive of that school of thought.”

Politico’s Annie Karni said Wednesday’s “Greek Chorus” served as a “reminder, of sorts, of the movement of Trump backers happy to take him at his word and jeer the media as the out-of-touch liars”.

Trump said his daughter Ivanka will resign from her role with his company. Picture: TIMOTHY A. CLARY

Trump said his daughter Ivanka will resign from her role with his company. Picture: TIMOTHY A. CLARYSource:AFP

‘UNPRECEDENTED CONFLICT OF INTEREST’

The dramatic press conference was the President-elect’s first in months, which he said was due to “inaccurate” reporting. Instead, he has recently opted for a daily string of tweets to give his views on everything from geopolitics to economics, which have had the power to move share prices and currency values.

On his business interests, Mr Trump’s lawyer announced he would give control of the Trump organisation to his sons Eric and Donald Jr, in a move that has been slammed by ethicists as not going far enough to separate his interests.

“I could actually run by business and as president at the same time,” The President-elect said in what would be a direct contradiction of the conventions of office.

Director of the US Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub Jr said: “Stepping back from running his businesses is meaningless from a conflict of interest perspective.”

The Sunlight Foundation, which keeps a running tab on conflicts of interests said Mr Trump will enter the White House with “unprecedented conflicts of interest” and is putting his business interests ahead of the country.

“Trump’s plan leaves the Presidency vulnerable to self-dealing, constitutional crisis, the appearance of corruption, and other abuses of power. Trump’s approach to governance and ethics repudiates decades of accepted norms for modern democratic accountability,” the organisation said.

“Trump’s trust is not blind. His brand will conflict with his Presidency. His taxes remain secret, despite decades of precedent. The Trump Presidency will be mired in litigation, doubt, scandal, and crisis.”

President-elect Donald Trump says allegations made about him in an unverified dossier prepared by ex-British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele, are completely fabricated. WSJ?s Jason Bellini breaks down what we know about the material and the person behind it. Photo: Getty.

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