Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the outgoing US administration of trying to undermine President-elect Donald Trump by spreading fake allegations.

Putin, speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, described a dossier on Trump as part of efforts by President Barack Obama's administration to "undermine the legitimacy of the president-elect" despite his "convincing" victory.

Asked about the bombshell dossier which details Trump's alleged sexual activities at a Moscow hotel, Putin dismissed it as "fake" and charged that people who ordered it are "worse than prostitutes." Trump has rejected the allegations as "fake news" and "phony stuff."

Putin also claimed that some now want to "stage a Maidan in Washington," in reference to the alleged US role in organising protests in the main square of the Ukrainian capital, which chased the nation's Russia-friendly president from power in 2014.


On Tuesday, Ukraine filed a case against Russia at the United Nations' highest court, accusing Moscow of illegally annexing Crimea and illicitly funding separatist rebel groups.


Trump will take office this week with an approval rating of 40 per cent, sharply lower than any incoming US president in recent history, a new poll shows.

The CNN/ORC poll showed Trump lagging more than 20 points behind the ratings of his three most recent predecessors and 44 points below that of President Barack Obama as he prepared to enter the Oval Office in 2009, CNN said.

Forty per cent of poll respondents said they approved of the way Trump has been handling the transition period heading into Friday's inauguration.

In comparison, Obama had an 84 per cent approval rating ahead of his inauguration, Bill Clinton scored 67 per cent approval in late December 1992 and 61 per cent approved of George W. Bush's transition in poll figures from January 2001, CNN said.

Trump has shrugged off the new polls, tweeting that they are "phony" and "rigged".

The New York real estate developer working in government for the first time has presided over a chaotic transition period since his election on November 8.

Despite the declining approval ratings, Trump supporters are confident the billionaire businessman will deliver on his campaign vows.


"I think Donald will do what he says he'll do. I think he will keep his promises. And I think he's going to make America great again," Mary Ann Tackett, from Tennessee, told News Corp Australia.


British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday outlined Britain's exit strategy from the EU, saying the UK would seek a trade deal giving "the greatest possible access" to the market.

Trump said Brexit was good for the UK and has already proposed an immediate free trade agreement with Britain.

Anthony Scaramucci, who is set to join the Trump administration, reiterated the Republican leader's claims in an interview at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday.

Asked whether a deal can be negotiated in time for Britain's exit from the EU, which is expected sometime in the spring of 2019, Scaramucci says it would be wrong to "take the typical political rubric that you've seen and map that out."

Trump, he says is a "hard charger" and has got a group of people around him that are "very result-oriented." Trade deals have traditionally taken years to cobble together, because of diverging interests.

Anthony Scaramucci, who is part of President-elect Donald Trump's transition team, said a new trade deal between the US and UK will be negotiated quickly. Picture: AP Photo/Michel Euler
Anthony Scaramucci, who is part of President-elect Donald Trump's transition team, said a new trade deal between the US and UK will be negotiated quickly. Picture: AP Photo/Michel Euler


Iran's president has compared talk of renegotiating its nuclear accord to "converting a shirt back to cotton," and says Trump's talk of doing so is "mainly slogans."

Trump has strongly criticised the deal struck with world powers, in which Iran agreed to curb its uranium enrichment in exchange for sanctions relief, but has not said what he plans to do about the agreement.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani told reporters on Tuesday that "renegotiation has no meaning at all." He added that "Mr Trump has so far made many remarks on the deal. These are mainly slogans. I do not see it likely that something happens in practice."

The agreement also included Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. None have expressed interest in scrapping the agreement or restoring sanctions.