Trump slams in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials, me­dia over Flynn res­ig­na­tion, Rus­sia

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - JULIE PACE

WASHINGTON — U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Wed­nes­day blamed the me­dia and “il­le­gally leaked” in­tel­li­gence in­for­ma­tion for bring­ing down his na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser Michael Flynn, one day af­ter the White House said Trump had asked Flynn to re­sign be­cause he mis­led Vice-Pres­i­dent Mike Pence about his con­tacts with Rus­sia.

Flynn’s ouster has sparked a new swirl of con­tro­versy over Trump’s po­ten­tial ties to Moscow. Flynn re­signed Mon­day night — at the be­hest of Trump, the White House later said — af­ter re­ports that he had dis­cussed sanc­tions with Rus­sia’s am­bas­sador to the U.S. be­fore the in­au­gu­ra­tion, de­spite pre­vi­ously deny­ing those con­ver­sa­tions to Pence.

But in Trump’s first pub­lic com­ments on Flynn, he ap­peared to side with his for­mer aide, say­ing it was “re­ally a sad thing that he was treated so badly.”

Flynn’s ouster was a blow to a White House strug­gling to find its foot­ing in Trump’s first weeks in of­fice. The ques­tions about Rus­sia only deep­ened late Tues­day when The New York Times re­ported that U.S. agen­cies had in­ter­cepted phone calls last year be­tween Rus­sian in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials and mem­bers of Trump’s 2016 cam­paign team. Cur­rent and for­mer U.S. of­fi­cials who spoke to the Times anony­mously said they found no ev­i­dence that the Trump cam­paign was work­ing with the Rus­sians on hack­ing or other ef­forts to in­flu­ence the elec­tion.

Trump didn’t directly ad­dress the ve­rac­ity of the re­port dur­ing a news con­fer­ence, but lashed out at what he called the “crim­i­nal act” of leak­ing in­for­ma­tion. Ear­lier Wed­nes­day, Trump tweeted that “clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion is il­le­gally given out by ‘in­tel­li­gence’ like candy. Very un-Amer­i­can!”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.