President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his former national security adviser who resigned amid a scandal over contacts he had with Russian officials.
Trump made the comments about Mike Flynn during a press conference before a White House meeting between him and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Gen. Flynn is a wonderful man,” Trump said. “I think he’s been treated very, very unfairly by the media, as I call it the ‘fake media,’ in many cases, and I think it’s really a sad thing that he was treated so badly.”
Flynn resigned after a Washington Post report suggested some US officials believed Flynn could be susceptible to Russian blackmail and after he faced new scrutiny over a call with Russia’s ambassador to the US during which the pair apparently discussed US sanctions.
During the press conference, Trump also complained about leaks coming out of the White House. The information on Flynn was leaked to the press by anonymous sources.
“I think in addition to that, from intelligence, papers are being leaked, things are being leaked,” Trump said. “It’s criminal action, a criminal act, and it’s been going on for a long time, before me, but now it’s really going on. And people are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the Democrats had under Hillary Clinton.”
He then pivoted back to talking about Flynn.
“I think it’s very, very unfair what’s happened to Gen. Flynn, the way he was treated and the documents and the papers that were illegally, I stress that, illegally leaked. Very, very unfair.”
David Choi contributed to this report.
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