Donald Trump declares war on his intelligence agencies over 'illegal' and 'un-American' leaks
President Donald Trump has declared war on his own intelligence agencies over "un-American" and scandalous leaks, claiming that his aides had been in "constant communication" with Russian intelligence officials during the presidential campaign.
Mr Trump claims the "real scandal" is not the alleged ties to Russia, but politically-motivated leaks from within the US government.
Hours after Michael Flynn, Mr Trump's national security adviser, resigned after misleading the White House over conversations with the Russian ambassador to the US, reports emerged that key campaign aides had also been communicating with Russian officials.
That scandal began after US officials leaked the fact that Mr Flynn had discussed sanctions with the ambassador.
The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by "intelligence" like candy. Very un-American!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2017
Leaks also prompted the controversy over the "dirty dossier" prepared by a former MI6 operative, and have plagued the first weeks of the Trump administration.
Meanwhile, it appears Vladimir Putin may be testing the new US president.
A Russian spy ship has been spotted off the East Coast, it has emerged that Russia deployed a prohibited cruise missile and Russian jets buzzed a US ship in the Black Sea.
Mr Trump defended Mr Flynn during today's press conference with Benjamin Netanyahu, saying his former adviser is a "wonderful man".