US President Donald Trump went off script during Thursday to accuse the US media of disseminating news based on illegal leaks of confidential information.
When asked by reporters about the recent resignation of his national security adviser Michael Flynn that followed media reports of his contacts with the Russian ambassador, Trump reiterated that the official “was doing his job.” “The thing is, he didn’t tell our vice president properly, and then he said he didn’t remember. So either way, it wasn’t very satisfactory to me,” he added.
“What was wrong was the way that other people, including yourselves in this room, were given that information, because that was classified information that was given illegally. That’s the real problem,” he said, adding that ” you can talk all you want about Russia, which was all a, you know, fake news, fabricated deal.”
He also spoke of his recent confidential phone calls to the leaders of Mexico and Australia, the details of which also leaked to the media.
“People are now looking at the illegal – I think it’s very important – the illegal, giving out classified information. It was – and let me just tell you, it was given out like so much,” he said.
“How does the press get this information that’s classified? How do they do it?” he said. “Because it’s an illegal process and the press should be ashamed of themselves. But more importantly, the people that gave out the information to the press should be ashamed of themselves, really ashamed.”
The president said he had asked prosecutors to investigate media leaks about the actions of his administration.
“I’ve actually called the Justice Department to look into the leaks. Those are criminal leaks. They’re put out by people either in agencies – I think you’ll see it stopping because now we have our people in,” he said.
The US media has recently published a series of articles about actions by Trump’s administration based sources with access to confidential information. His national security adviser Michael Flynn had to resign following media reports about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. On Wednesday Trump blamed the leaks on political circles who supported his political opponent Hillary Clinton in last November’s presidential elections. (PNA/TASS)