Anderson Cooper clashes with Kellyanne Conway
Anderson Cooper clashes with Kellyanne Conway over the network's coverage of a report on Donald Trump's Russia ties screengrab

Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway clashed with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Wednesday over the network's coverage of an unsubstantiated report alleging that Russia has compromising material it could use to blackmail the president-elect.

"I know CNN must be feeling the heat today of having a headline yesterday at around 6:30 p.m. that said, quote, 'Intel chiefs presented Trump with information that Russia had information to compromise him,'" Kellyanne Conway told Cooper on CNN's 360. "That is just false."

In his first press conference since being elected, Trump furiously criticised CNN and news website BuzzFeed for its coverage of the report, and said it would be a "tremendous blot" on the reputation of intelligence agencies if they had been responsible for leaking details.

Cooper accused Conway of conflating CNN's coverage with that of BuzzFeed, which published the 35-page dossier compiled by a former British spy in full.

CNN had earlier reported that the dossier was included as part of a classified intelligence briefing on Russian interference in the election given to Trump last week.

"I think you guys are feeling the heat," he told Conway. "[Our report] was actually backed up by not only multiple sources but other news agencies."

Conway, who is one of Trump's top aides questioned the veracity of the information in the report, which also alleged that there had been secret meetings and collusion between members of the Trump camp and Kremlin officials ahead of the election.

"What heat do we feel?" asked Conway, who is Trump's incoming counselor. "That you've got this raw information, this complete ridiculous fake news?

"It has not been backed up by credible news sources. Actually, it's just fake, it's not even news, I can't even use 'news' for it."