President Donald Trump chastised the FBI Friday morning for being “totally unable” to locate the source of media leaks, even as the White House scrambled to contain fallout from new reports of the White House asking the FBI to knock down damaging stories.
“The FBI is totally unable to stop the national security ‘leakers’ that have permeated our government for a long time,” Trump wrote on Twitter, breaking his message up into multiple posts. “They can’t even find the leakers within the FBI itself. Classified information is being given to media that could have a devastating effect on U.S. FIND NOW.”
The president’s remark comes on the same day that at least two cable news channels, CNN and MSNBC, devoted significant airtime to reports that the FBI had refused to publicly dispute news that individuals associated with Trump had been in touch with senior Russian intelligence officials during last year’s presidential campaign. CNN first reported Thursday evening that chief of staff Reince Priebus had asked the FBI to throw cold water on a New York Times story about campaign contacts with Russia, but that the FBI declined. The Associated Press reported a similar story Friday morning.