U.S. President Donald Trump assailed U.S. intelligence agencies on Wednesday for what he said were illegal information leaks, and dismissed reports of contacts between members of his presidential campaign and Russian intelligence officials. Andy Sullivan reports.
President Donald Trump striking back against reports that his campaign aides spoke extensively with Russian spies during last year's election... revelations that raise new alarms about Moscow's alleged meddling in the U.S. presidential race. The New York Times late Tuesday night citing four current and former U.S. officials that members of Trump's campaign and other associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election. At a news conference with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump slamming what he called illegal leaks from the U.S. intelligence community. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "And it's been going on for a long time, before me, and now it's really going on. People are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the Democrats had under Hillary Clinton." These alleged contracts are separate from the back channels calls Flynn made to the Russian ambassador before he took office, which led to his quick departure from the White House. On Monday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer saying Flynn had left because he lost the trust of the president, but on Tuesday, Trump taking a very different line. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "Michael Flynn, General Flynn, is a wonderful man. I think he's been treated very, very unfairly by the media." Sources tell Reuters that Trump has asked Vice Admiral Robert Harward to serve as national security adviser, replacing Flynn. Pressure mounting on Capitol Hill as Republicans promise to get to the bottom of Trump's Russia ties, calling for Flynn to testify before Congress.