The State Of US-Russian Relations
- Author: Leroy Wright Feb 20, 2017,
Feb 20, 2017, 21:48
"I have never seen more dishonest media, frankly than the political media", Trump said, later slamming leaks to the press from the intelligence community - some of which led to the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
"It's not like these people wear badges that say 'I'm a Russian intelligence officer, ' " said one former Trump aide.
"This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine", he said. So I think that the - at least the Pence message is being reaffirmed by other members of the Cabinet.
He also dismissed reports that his campaign officials were constantly in contact with Russian Federation, and vowed to crack down on the leaking of classified information, at a news conference on Thursday that lasted for an hour and 15 minutes.
Flynn was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his telephone conversations with Russia's ambassador to the USA, a sign his ties to Russian Federation had caught the attention of law enforcement officials.
In a joint statement on Tuesday, California Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said that the idea that Flynn acted of his own accord is "implausible and unlikely", and Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, raised his concern that "Flynn was secretly communicating with Russian officials at the same time that Russia was attacking our democracy". Russian Federation is a ruse. "The news is fake because so much of the news is fake", Trump said at the press conference. On Wednesday, he defended Flynn as a "wonderful man" who had been mistreated by the "fake media".
Amid reports of widespread leaks within his administration, Mr Trump also warned that he would clamp down on the dissemination of sensitive information, saying he had asked the Justice Department to look into the leaks. "The news is fake", he said. The Obama administration aggressively investigated suspected leakers, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. "I inherited a mess at home and overseas - a mess", Trump said.
The president announced that Alexander Acosta, dean of the Florida International University law school and former USA attorney in Florida, would be his nominee for Labour secretary. It came a day after fast-food executive Andrew Puzder withdrew his nomination for Labor after losing support among Republican senators. Trump kept his No. 2 in the dark and waited almost three weeks before ousting the aide, Michael Flynn, citing a slow but steady erosion of trust, White House officials said.
Flynn had initially told Pence the conversation did not broach the topic of USA sanctions on Russian Federation, which led the vice president to defend Flynn in a series of subsequent media interviews.
"The Trump administration has yet to be forthcoming about who was aware of Flynn's conversations with the ambassador and whether he was acting on the instructions of the president or any other officials, or with their knowledge".
Flynn changed his story from did not to I don't know.
The Post reports that in a February 8 interview with the outlet, "Flynn categorically denied discussing sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, repeating public assertions made in January by top Trump officials".
Another official said Flynn's departure may strengthen the hands of some cabinet secretaries, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.