Trump Claims ‘Illegal Leaks’ Are ‘The Real Story’ Behind Michael Flynn’s Resignation
President Trump responded publicly to the news of the forced resignation of his national security advisor, Michael Flynn, asserting on Tuesday that the “real story” is the number of “illegal leaks” from U.S. government officials.
Trump made the claim in an early-morning tweet.
The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2017
Late Monday, the White House announced that Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, would be resigning from his position as national security advisor, just 24 days into the job.
That move followed several days of deliberations after it was revealed last week that Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence, others in the administration, and the American public about phone calls he had on Dec. 29 with Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.
Flynn had insisted that he did not discuss U.S. sanctions against Russia with the Kremlin diplomat. But information provided by current and former U.S. government officials told a different story. Transcripts of the phone calls captured by U.S. intelligence agencies reportedly showed that Flynn and Kislyak discussed sanctions, which the Obama administration announced just before the call in question.
The information in the call transcripts is said to not be classified. But the actual transcript reportedly is classified given that it reveals the U.S. government’s methods for surveilling foreign government officials.
The number of leakers cited in the reporting of Flynn’s calls were substantial. Nine current and former U.S. government officials provided information to The Washington Post, which broke open the story last week. The existence of phone calls between Flynn and Kislyak was first reported last month by David Ignatius, a Post columnist.