Amid controversy, Trump says campaign aides had no contact with Russia

By REUTERS
February 16, 2017 22:45

 
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WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump dismissed media reports that his presidential campaign team had contacts with Russian intelligence officials, saying on Thursday that he was not aware of any member of his team having been in touch with Russia ahead of the November election.

As his administration grapples with a growing controversy about the relationship between his aides and Moscow, Trump also said he had not directed his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, to talk to Russia's ambassador about US sanctions before taking office.

Speaking at a White House news conference, Trump dismissed the controversy about the relationship between his aides and Moscow as a "scam" and "a ruse" perpetrated by a hostile news media.

Trump said he had asked the Justice Department to look into the leaks of "classified information that was given illegally" to journalists regarding the relationship between his aides and Russia.

"The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake," Trump said.

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