Donald Trump thanks Vladimir Putin, lashes out over salacious Russia dossier report in first press conference

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President-elect Donald Trump launched his first press conference since the summer of 2016 by blasting a scandalous and unverified report suggesting Russia had collected compromising information about him -- thanking Russia for denying the existence of the dossier and thanking the majority of news organizations for largely ignoring the report.

But the president-elect was not without criticism, blasting two news organizations for publishing the story -- presumably Buzzfeed and CNN who reported it initially on Tuesday, although he did not mention them by name.

The president also suggested that intelligence agencies would have a "tremendous blot on their record" if they were responsible for leaking the report.

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President-elect Trump's first press conference since election win
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President-elect Trump's first press conference since election win
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in Trump Tower, Manhattan, New York, U.S., January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
A member of the media waits for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
US Vice President-elect Mike Pence speaks during a press conference January 11, 2017 in New York. Donald Trump is holding his first news conference in nearly six months Wednesday, amid explosive allegations over his ties to Russia, a little more than a week before his inauguration. / AFP / DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump takes questions from members of the media during a press conference at Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. Trump vigorously denounced unsubstantiated reports that the Russian government has gathered potentially damaging information about his finances and conduct. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 11: President-elect Donald Trump arrives at a news cenference at Trump Tower on January 11, 2017 in New York City. This is Trump's first official news conference since the November elections. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
US President-elect Donald Trump arrives to give a press conference January 11, 2017 in New York. Donald Trump is holding his first news conference in nearly six months Wednesday, amid explosive allegations over his ties to Russia, a little more than a week before his inauguration. / AFP / DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, second right, stands with son Donald Trump Jr. right, and daughter Ivanka Trump prior to a press conference at Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. Trump vigorously denounced unsubstantiated reports that the Russian government has gathered potentially damaging information about his finances and conduct. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Numerous files are displayed (L) as US President-elect Donald Trump gives a press conference January 11, 2017 in New York. Donald Trump is holding his first news conference in nearly six months Wednesday, amid explosive allegations over his ties to Russia, a little more than a week before his inauguration. / AFP / DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
US President-elect Donald Trump gives a press conference January 11, 2017 in New York. Donald Trump is holding his first news conference in nearly six months Wednesday, amid explosive allegations over his ties to Russia, a little more than a week before his inauguration. / AFP / DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
US President-elect Donald Trump gives a press conference January 11, 2017 in New York. Donald Trump is holding his first news conference in nearly six months Wednesday, amid explosive allegations over his ties to Russia, a little more than a week before his inauguration. / AFP / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
People watch from a balcony as US President-elect Donald Trump gives a press conference January 11, 2017 in New York. Donald Trump is holding his first news conference in nearly six months Wednesday, amid explosive allegations over his ties to Russia, a little more than a week before his inauguration. / AFP / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
US President-elect Donald Trump Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is seen during a press conference January 11, 2017 in New York. Donald Trump is holding his first news conference in nearly six months Wednesday, amid explosive allegations over his ties to Russia, a little more than a week before his inauguration. / AFP / DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
US President-elect Donald Trump along with his children Eric(L) Ivanka and Donald Jr. arrive for a press conference January 11, 2017 at Trump Tower in New York. Trump held his first news conference in nearly six months Wednesday, amid explosive allegations over his ties to Russia, a little more than a week before his inauguration. / AFP / Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
US President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a press conference January 11, 2017 at Trump Tower in New York. Trump held his first news conference in nearly six months Wednesday, amid explosive allegations over his ties to Russia, a little more than a week before his inauguration. / AFP / Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 11: President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a news cenference at Trump Tower on January 11, 2017 in New York City. This is Trump's first official news conference since the November elections. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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Trump, who has had a notoriously tense relationship with intel agencies and has reportedly received only a handful of intelligence briefings since his election, also said he respects Russia for coming out with a full-throated denial of the report.

SEE MORE: Rex Tillerson, Marco Rubio face off over Russia in committee hearing

The president-elect thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for squashing the allegations, saying he "respected" the decision. He suggested that the Russian government would have likely leaked any salacious information if they actually had it.

"I think if he did have something, they would've released it," he said.

SEE ALSO: Moscow rejects report on Donald Trump ties as 'total hoax'

He also said that he would be tougher on Russia than his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton would have been, if she had been elected, and that he would have a positive relationship with Putin, working with him

"Do you honestly believe Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me?" he asked rhetorically. "Give me a break."

"If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability," he added.

SEE MORE: Penthouse offers $1M for 'exclusive rights' to tapes of 'Donald Trump's 'golden showers'

Asked to address the substance of the report, that he might have been filmed while staying at hotels in Russia in the midst of compromising acts, Trump said that he was very aware of the possible existence of such cameras.

"I'm also very much a germaphobe," he added.

Simultaneously, the president-elect's nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, broke with Trump's platform as he fielded questions in Washington from the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

The former CEO of ExxonMobil testified on Wednesday that Russia "poses a danger" and must be held accountable for its actions regarding the 2016 presidential election. Tillerson also denounced Russian aggression in cyberspace and in Ukraine, saying Putin's invasion of Ukraine was an "illegal action."

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