Trump Moscow Tape or 'Something Close' Is Real, and Putin 'Likely' Has Something on U.S. President, Senator Claims

A Democratic senator claimed Monday that something like the "pee tape" dossier with allegations about Trump's ties to Russia, including that he paid Russian prostitutes to urinate on a Moscow hotel bed the Obamas stayed in, was real.

Related: Michael Cohen Drops Trump Dossier Lawsuit Because He Has Too Many Other Legal Cases to Fight

Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon made the bold claim in a sit-down interview with BuzzFeed's editor-in-chief Ben Smith on the outlet's "AM to DM" morning show. BuzzFeed published the compromising tape in January 2017 without verifying the allegations.

Smith asked Merkley to comment on Trump's refusal to criticize Putin. "I mean, do you think Vladimir Putin has something on him?" Smith asked.

"I think it's likely, yeah," Merkley said.

Asked to elaborate, Merkley said, "Well, it's the standard strategy of Russia, when people visit there who are important to try to get compromising information on them, to set them up with hookers, to tape everything that goes on in their room, so it's likely that they have that.

"There are many members of Trump's team that had different types of communication with Russia that are probably uncomfortable, and, we may find out from Mueller, far beyond uncomfortable, and Trump clearly wants to convey that there's absolutely nothing there," Merkley continued. "But if there's absolutely nothing there, why are there so many people under indictment? How come a number of people have pleaded guilty? Why is there so much information on so many contacts with his campaign?"

Merkley concluded: "So Trump wants there to be one world, his fantasy world that he repeats a thousand times over, but it's not the real world."

Smith then asked, "So, just to put this in terms that Twitter can relate to, your view is that the pee tape is real?"

"Something close to that," Merkley said, nodding. "Something close to that."

The dossier was compiled by Christopher Steele, who formerly headed the Russia desk for British intelligence. BuzzFeed News published the dossier after Trump and former President Barack Obama were briefed on it. Trump has denied that Russians had evidence of him committing any wrongdoing.

White House officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Newsweek on Monday.

Before his closed-door summit with Putin, Trump said, "We have great opportunities together ... I think we can end up having an extraordinary relationship."