President Trump, appearing at a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, unleashed on the media’s reporting about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and of intelligence leaks about his campaign’s contacts with Russian officials.
Even though the White House has made it clear that Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation, Trump said that Flynn “has been treated very, very unfairly by the media… as I call it the ‘fake media.'” He called Flynn a “wonderful man.”
As he did earlier in the day on Twitter, Trump tried to turn attention to the issue of leaks coming from the intelligence community, blaming it on the need to “cover up for a terrible loss by Hillary Clinton.”
The New York Times and CNN reported on Monday night that Trump campaign advisers were in “constant communication” with Russian officials. They cited unnamed intelligence and law enforcement sources.
At his press conference with Netanyahu, Trump was not asked directly about the report (he took questions from Town Hall and Christian Broadcasting Network), but he tweeted early on Tuesday that “the real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy. Very un-American!”
Trump said that he was open to a one- or two-state solution when it comes to peace between Israel and the Palestinians, while Netanyahu talked of seeking a regional solution.
Trump said that when it came to a one- or two- state solution he could “live with either one.”
Trump also told Netanyahu that he would “like to see you hold back on the settlements for a little bit,” referring to residential construction on the West Bank. Netanyahu responded that the issue was “not at the core” of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
Netanyahu also signaled a much warmer relationship with Trump than with his predecessor.
“There is no greater supporter of the Jewish state than President Donald Trump,” he said.
Trump also was asked about anti-semitic incidents in the United States since the campaign.
After talking about his electoral college victory, Trump said, “We are going to do everything in our power to stop long simmering racism and every other thing that is going on.”