President-elect Donald Trump publicly lambasted a BuzzFeed report, offering choice words for the news outlet on Wednesday.
Memos published by BuzzFeed described sordid videos, and the dossier is reportedly the work of a former British intelligence officer who was hired by a Trump opposition research firm and used by his Democratic opponents.
To make a point, Trump spoke about the time he spent in Moscow during the Miss Universe Pageant in 2013.
“I told everybody, ‘be very careful because you don’t want to see yourself on television. There are cameras all over the place.'”
He added, “Does anyone really believe that story? I’m also very much of a germaphobe, by the way.”
— Colin Jones (@colinjones) January 11, 2017
Trump also turned his attention toward BuzzFeed itself.
“It’s all fake news. It’s phony stuff. It did not happen. And it was gotten by opponents of ours, as you know, because you reported it and so did many of the other people. It was a group of opponents, they got together—sick people—and they put that crap together,” he said.
BuzzFeed, he added, is a “failing pile of garbage” and said the outlet will “suffer the consequences” of its reporting.
BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti wrote a memo to employees on Wednesday, saying it would not respond to Trump’s comments.
“We are not going to respond to these divisive comments, which put us in great company by the way—The New York Times, CNN, and The Washington Post have all been attacked. So has Meryl Streep and the cast of Hamilton, but we’d never compare ourselves to people that talented,” he said, TheVerge reported.
Peretti said BuzzFeed would continue to “deliver impactful journalism.”
BuzzFeed was derided by other news outlets, with The New York Times editor, Dean Baquet, criticizing it in a roundabout way by saying the Times “felt we’re not in the business of publishing things we can’t stand by.”