Donald Trump celebrated leaks during campaign, now he says its 'un-American'

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At the February 14 White House briefing, Spicer told reporters that the White House had known "for a few weeks" - since January - that Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador about sanctions. The air started getting thin for him when it emerged just a few days after Trump's inauguration that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other authorities had investigated pre-inauguration phone calls that the designated United States security adviser had made to Russia's ambassador in Washington.

Separately, Russian officials on Wednesday dismissed a statement by White House spokesman Sean Spicer who said Trump expects Russia to return Crimea, which it annexed following a hastily called referendum in March 2014. Flynn has since told the White House that sanctions may have come up.

U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is on thin ice over his communication with a Russian diplomat. Flynn, a retired US army general, he has long called for closer cooperation with Moscow.

At the news briefing on Tuesday, Mr Spicer explained why the president had asked Mr Flynn for his resignation, saying there was an "evolving and eroding level of trust".

But Republican critics of Mr Trump, including Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, voiced fresh consternation.

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The White House has been aware of the justice department warnings for "weeks", an administration official said, although it was unclear whether Mr Trump and Mr Pence had been alerted. But the trust had gone. In the late afternoon on February 10, Trump was asked aboard Air Force One about the news reports on Flynn. Mr Spicer would say only that Mr Flynn was continuing to carry out "his daily functions".

"In one case you're talking about highly classified information, in another case you are talking about John Podesta saying awful things about the boss", the president said.

Senate Democrats with experience in intelligence matters weren't sure what to make of Nunes' comments about the potential wiretapping of Flynn.

"The are real, the leaks are absolutely real-you saw it", Trump said. "Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc?"

Flynn, in his resignation letter, wrote that he "inadvertently" briefed top officials with incomplete information regarding his call with the Russian ambassador.

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Several house Democrats called on oversight committee chairman Jason Chaffetz, a Republican from Utah, to launch an investigation into Mr Flynn's ties to Russian Federation.

The US leader said retired army general Flynn had been treated "very, very unfairly by the media", including what he called "fake media".

In addition to his discussions with the Russian ambassador, Flynn was also scrutinized for a 2015 trip he took to Russia during which he attended a banquet and sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

However, House speaker Paul Ryan sidestepped questions on whether he backed an independent investigation.

"The tone is such hatred", Mr. Trump said of the coverage of his government.

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A day after Flynn's resignation, Trump claimed Flynn was "treated very, very unfairly" by the "fake media".

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