US President-elect Donald Trump says US intelligence agencies might have leaked a dossier of what he called "fake news" about how Russia had damaging personal and financial information about him, saying the allegations were false.
In his first formal news conference since July, Mr Trump slammed two news organisations for reporting unsubstantiated claims about his ties to Moscow but praised other reporters for holding back.
"I think it's a disgrace that information would be let out," Mr Trump told about 250 reporters jammed into the lobby at his New York offices.
"It's all fake news, it's phony stuff, it didn't happen," said Mr Trump, who takes office on January 20.
The dossier was first reported by CNN. BuzzFeed published detailed elements of the report.
Two US officials said on Tuesday that the allegations, which one called "unsubstantiated," were contained in a two-page memo appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election that was presented last week to Mr Trump and to President Barack Obama.
In a series of Twitter posts hours before his first news conference in nearly six months, Mr Trump accused intelligence agencies of taking "one last shot" at him by leaking the information.
"Are we living in Nazi Germany?" he asked.
The Republican president-elect has long said he hopes to improve ties with Moscow, but his plans have come under intense scrutiny after US intelligence agencies concluded that Russia used cyber attacks and other tactics to try to tilt the presidential election in his favour over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
His stance has rattled traditional US allies such as NATO countries and many US foreign policy experts who consider Russia a geopolitical adversary.
About a dozen protesters gathered behind a police barricade across the street from Mr Trump Tower before the news conference, holding signs with slogans like "Dump Trump" and "Allegiance To America Not Russia".
At the other end of the block, a separate group of protesters held signs with Mr Trump sporting a Hitler moustache, and chanted, "In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America!"
The Russia news obscured what was the original purpose of the news conference: a chance for the real estate developer to describe how he will separate himself from his global business operations to avoid conflicts of interest once he takes office.
Mr Trump, who owns hotels and golf courses as well as assets like a winery and modelling agency, will transfer all his assets into a trust and put his two sons in charge, hiring an ethics adviser to review any transactions for conflicts, a Mr Trump lawyer said.
The company will not enter any new deals while Mr Trump is president, and all profits generated at Mr Trump's hotels by foreign governments will be donated to the US Treasury.
His daughter Ivanka, whose husband Jared Kushner will be a senior adviser to Mr Trump in the White House, also will cease her management role in the Trump Organisation, the lawyer said.
Spy documents a 'hoax' - Kremlin
The Kremlin says it has no compromising material on Mr Trump or Ms Clinton.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, addressing reporters on a conference call, said the dossier was a hoax which had been dreamt up to further damage US-Russia relations.
Two US officials said on Tuesday evening that the heads of four US intelligence agencies had last week presented Mr Trump with classified documents which included claims that Russian intelligence operatives had compromising information about him.
But the Kremlin said the unsubstantiated dossier had been fabricated and was "total nonsense".