President Donald J. Trump defended his former national security adviser Michael Flynn during a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But he did not answer any questions about a new bombshell report on his campaign’s dealings with Russia.
Trump said he thought Flynn was a “wonderful man” who had been treated “very, very unfairly by the media, as I call it, the fake media, in many cases.”
He also decried leaks to the media, saying that documents and papers had been “illegally leaked.”
“People are trying to cover up for a terrible loss the Democrats had under Hillary Clinton,” he said.
Flynn was forced to resign Monday night after revelations that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and White House officials about pre-inauguration phone calls to the Russian ambassador in which Flynn discussed sanctions against Russia.
A White House spokesman said Tuesday that Flynn had not done anything illegal, but Trump had lost trust in him. Trump had no criticism of Flynn, however, at the Wednesday news conference.
Trump also did not answer any questions about a startling new report about Russia’s contacts with Trump’s team in the period leading up to the November election. Later, at a photo opportunity, he was silent again on the topic.
The New York Times reported that members of Trump’s campaign and other Trump associates had multiple contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election.