WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump repeated his demand Saturday that “illegal leaks” must stop after a report that U.S. intercepts contradict Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ statement that he did not discuss campaign or policy issues with a Russian ambassador last year.
In one of several early morning tweets, Trump took aim at a Washington Post story quoting unnamed current and former U.S. officials who spoke about the intercepts of communications with Moscow by Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States.
But Trump also wove in other issues in his tweets: his power to issue pardons amid several investigations of his campaign; his former election opponent Hillary Clinton; James Comey, the FBI director he fired; The New York Times; his new communications director, and the Senate health bill.
“A new INTELLIGENCE LEAK from the Amazon Washington Post,this time against A.G. Jeff Sessions.These illegal leaks, like Comey’s, must stop!” Trump tweeted.
“While all agree the U. S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us.FAKE NEWS,” he said in another post.
He followed those comments by airing his continuing campaign against Clinton.
“So many people are asking why isn’t the A.G. or Special Council looking at the many Hillary Clinton or Comey crimes, 33,000 e-mails deleted?” he tweeted. “…What about all the Clinton ties to Russia, including Podesta Company, Uranium deal, Russian Reset, big dollar speeches, etc.”
Trump sought to contrast the emails his son Donald Trump Jr. made public, just before The New York Times was about to publish them, with Clinton’s deleted emails.
“My son Donald openly gave his e-mails to the media & authorities whereas Crooked Hillary deleted (& acid washed) her 33,000 emails!”
Trump Jr. will field questions at a closed Senate hearing next week about those emails, which showed he was eager last year to get damaging information about Clinton even if it was from the Russian government.
The Post reported a U.S. official said Sessions provided “misleading statements” that evidence contradicts when he testified he had no recollection of an April encounter with Kislyak.
The article quoted another former official who said the intelligence indicates Sessions and Kislyak had “substantive” discussions on matters including Trump’s positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for U.S.-Russia relations in a Trump administration.
The Justice Department said Sessions stands by his previous assertion that he never had conversations with Russian officials about any type of interference with the election.