Trump slams 'fake news' and 'criminal' leaks in wake of Flynn's resignation

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U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday assailed what he said were illegal and "criminal" leaks from U.S. intelligence agencies in the controversy over contacts with Russian officials that forced his national security adviser Michael Flynn to resign.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump called Flynn a "wonderful man" and added: "I think it's very, very unfair what's happened to General Flynn, the way he was treated, and the documents and papers that were illegally, I stress that, illegally leaked."

The president also bashed the "fake media," alleging that "people are trying to cover up for a terrible loss the Democrats had under Hillary Clinton."

Click through reactions to Michael Flynn's resignation:

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Reaction to Michael Flynn's resignation
Michael Flynn has resigned as Trump's national security adviser. KEEP SHOWING UP. Our resistance is working! #WhyIResist
Im sad #MichaelFlynn resigned but at the end President Trump did what he had to do and thats says everything.
Flynn's resignation CANNOT be end of the story. Who talked to who? When? Who knew? When? How far up did it go? How much of dossier true?
Well, not even a month in and the first resignation due to scandal, and I doubt it'll be the last.#MICHAELFLYNN
#Flynngate doesn't bode well for @seanspicer. At all. https://t.co/czu8yerodG
If @POTUS knew of #MichaelFlynn and #Russia, then we are a country in crisis now.
Brian Williams goes there: "What did [Trump] know and when did he know it?" #flynn
Dear Mike Flynn & Mike Flynn Jr., What goes around COMETS around. And given your pizza obsession... https://t.co/rmyO7wyJKX xo Philippe
However welcomed General Flynn's resignation is, remember that President Trump's Russia connections and intentions… https://t.co/Trc2oMXDor
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"It's criminal action, a criminal act and its been going a long time, before me," Trump said about the leaks. "But now it's really going on."

Following the Flynn controversy, the New York Times released a report late Tuesday alleging that phone records and multiple intercepted calls showed that Trump's campaign was in contact repeatedly during 2016 election.

The report also stated that as of now there's no evidence of cooperation between the two nations.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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