- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

President Trump said Wednesday that new reports saying his associates had contact with Russian officials during last year’s campaign are “non-sense” and accused the U.S. intelligence community of illegally leaking information to news outlets.

“This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign,” Mr. Trump tweeted.

“Information is being illegally given to the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost by the intelligence community (NSA and FBI?).Just like Russia,” he also tweeted.

He said the “real scandal” is that the intelligence community is giving out classified information “like candy.”

“The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy. Very un-American!” the president tweeted.

He also said that the “fake news media” is “going crazy” with conspiracy theories and “blind hatred” and declared CNN and MSNBC “unwatchable.”

“The fake news media is going crazy with their conspiracy theories and blind hatred. @MSNBC & @CNN are unwatchable. @foxandfriends is great!” Mr. Trump tweeted, referring to Fox News’ morning show.

The missives comes as multiple news outlets, including CNN and the New York Times, reported Tuesday that Russian officials were in touch with members of Mr. Trump’s team during the presidential campaign last year.

Advisers close to Mr. Trump were in “constant communication during the campaign with Russians known to US intelligence,” CNN reported.

Among those supposedly communicating with Russian nationals was former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, the report said. Mr. Manafort denied that he ever knowingly talked to any intelligence official “or anyone in Russia regarding anything of what’s under investigation.”

“I have never had any connection to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin or the Russian government before, during or after the campaign,” he told CNN.

Mr. Trump and his team have consistently denied any contacts between the campaign and Russian officials ahead of November’s election.

The reports come on the heels of the resignation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The White House said Tuesday Mr. Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence and others about the nature of his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. after the November election but before Mr. Trump was sworn into office.

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