MOSCOW • Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared that the political memo alleging that the Kremlin had sought for years to influence President-elect Donald Trump was "fake".
He also said the effort to compile such a dossier was further evidence of the political decay of the West - one of his favourite themes.
Mr Putin accused the departing United States administration of trying to undermine President Barack Obama's successor, saying Russian spies had better things to do than chase rich American businessmen and try to catch them in compromising situations.
"These bogus stories are clearly fake," Mr Putin said on Tuesday at a news conference, regarding allegations that included Mr Trump cavorting with prostitutes while visiting Russia.
"He is a grown man, somebody who for many years has been organising beauty contests, interacted with the most beautiful women in the world," he added. "You know, it is difficult for me to imagine that he ran to a hotel to meet with our young women with lowered social responsibility."
While denouncing prostitution as a "horrible social phenomenon", Mr Putin also boasted about Russian exceptionalism, adding: "Even though they are undoubtedly the best in the world too, I doubt that Mr Trump would go for that."
'BEST IN THE WORLD'
You know, it is difficult for me to imagine that he ran to a hotel to meet with our young women with lowered social responsibility. Even though they are undoubtedly the best in the world too, I doubt that Mr Trump would go for that.
PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN
There is a frenzy of attention in Russia that is focused on the change in administration in Washington, even by the standards of state-run TV, which generally devotes more time to covering the US than it does the rest of the world.
Rossiya 24, a round-the-clock cable news station, is broadcasting a countdown to Mr Trump's inauguration tomorrow, featuring a new segment every day that highlights some slice of the President-elect's biography.
News Of The Week, Russian state television's flagship programme, devoted most of its 21/2-hour show on Sunday night to bashing the Obama administration and lauding the pending Trump presidency.