03:55 GMT +310 December 2019
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    US President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in Trump Tower, Manhattan, New York, US, January 11, 2017.

    Trump to FBI: Find Leakers Now!

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    US President Donald Trump is putting added pressure on the FBI to find those responsible for leaking secret information about his administration's phone calls, demanding that the agency identify the leakers “now.”

    In a set of tweets on Friday, President Trump stated that, “The FBI is totally unable to stop the national security "leakers" that have permeated our government for a long time. 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 tweets come on the heels of reports that the FBI confirmed to the Trump administration that the story of the President’s ties to Russia are false, although the agency has refused to say so publicly.

    On Friday, it was reported that the FBI denied any substance behind a New York Times article claiming that Trump’s aides were in touch with Russian intelligence services. The article relied on unnamed FBI officials, claiming that the agency is investigating several people from the President’s inner circle, who were known to be in contact with Moscow spies. However, all those mentioned in the NYT piece, denied any contact with foreign intelligence services and said they are not aware of being investigated by US counterintelligence services.

    Top FBI officials denounced the article as false to White House chief of staff Reince Priebus. However, when Priebus asked officials within the FBI to publicly dispute the report, FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe refused to do so, saying that the agency cannot publicly weigh in on the matter. Instead, Comey and McCabe suggested Priebus himself publicly dispute the story, using the FBI assessment of it being false.

    Nevertheless, the Democrats were quick to condemn the White House for allegedly putting the FBI under pressure. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi accused Priebus of "an outrageous breach of the FBI's independence" and urged  the Justice Department's inspector general to investigate all conversations between White House officials and the FBI regarding ongoing investigations.

    The FBI has not publicly commented on the matter.


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    FBI, White House, Michael Flynn, James Comey, Donald Trump, United States, Russia
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