President Donald Trump promised the “low-life” leakers who got Michael Flynn fired as national security adviser would be caught in a series of tweets Thursday, and demanded an apology over the story from The New York Times.
“Leaking, and even illegal classified leaking, has been a big problem in Washington for years,” Trump tweeted. Failing @nytimes (and others) must apologize!”
“The spotlight has finally been put on the low-life leakers!” he added a few minutes later. “They will be caught!”
While the media and Democrats have focused primarily on the exact nature of the phone call between Flynn and the Russian ambassador that led to his resignation, Trump and some Republicans and journalists have drawn attention to the illegal leak of classified information. (RELATED: America Witnessed ‘Well Orchestrated Effort’ To Oust Flynn)
Flynn allegedly discussed sanctions with the ambassador, possibly in violation of federal law, and then lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of the call. Someone inside notified Trump about the discrepancy, and leaked the news to the press. Trump later asked Flynn to resign, saying he didn’t break the law, but had lost the trust of the administration.
He blamed the whole thing on the intelligence community Wednesday, hours before The Wall Street Journal reported intelligence officers are withholding sensitive information from the president out of concern it might get leaked or compromised. Some see a dangerous feud developing between Trump and the intelligence community, including top former intelligence officials who told The Daily Caller News Foundation the Flynn ouster appears to be part of a wider campaign to discredit the new administration.
House Republicans are launching an investigation into the leaks, but will not investigate Flynn. Leading senators on the Judiciary Committee, however, have requested a briefing on the circumstances of Flynn’s resignation and transcripts of his intercepted phone calls.
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