Trump Reignites Quarrels With Intelligence Agencies Amid Leaks

By Ghada Ibrahim Feb 16, 2017 08:25 AM EST
Trump Refuels Fights With Intelligence Agencies
He believed they were responsible for leaked information that led to reports in the past about supposed connections tying his campaign with the Russian government.

On Wednesday, President Trump suggested that the U.S. intelligence community could be "illegally" leaking sensitive information in order to hurt his administration. This effectively ended a brief detente with agencies that he had previously accused of working against him.

According to Fox News, The discussion regarding the government leaks occurred during Trump's joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump said that intelligence as well as papers were being leaked. "Things are being leaked. It's a criminal action -- criminal act -- and it's been going on for a long time. Before me. But now it's really going on."

The leaks caused the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on Monday night. This occurred succeeding The Washington Post's reports about his discussions about sanctions with a Russian official within the transition period. Flynn himself told Vice President Pence that the exchange did not occur.

Trump took to Twitter to highlight the incident and wrote "This Russian connection nonsense is merely an attempt to cover up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton's losing campaign. Information is being illegally given to the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost by the intelligence community (NSA and FBI?). Just like Russia."

Previously Trump had mocked the intelligence community. He believed they were responsible for leaked information that led to reports in the past about supposed connections tying his campaign with the Russian government.

Additionally, Trump initially refused to claim Russia responsible for a series of pre-election hacks of Democratic emails. He eventually, however, conceded the Kremlin was probably behind it. Trump has also been widely criticized for his attempts at seeking a better relationship with Vladimir Putin, the Russian President.

On Wednesday morning, Julian Assange, WikiLeaks head, also took to Twitter from his newly activated personal account and framed the battle between the intelligence community and Trump. Alongside his anti-secrecy organization, Assange played an important role amidst the presidential election, where WikiLeaks released a bunch of emails that were politically damaging to Clinton.

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