President Donald Trump said Thursday he has “total trust” in intelligence leaders, saying he has been assured they are “excellent” and that “everything” they say is based on “good sources and good methods.”
Trump made the remarks at a news conference in his private residence, flanked by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and former national security adviser Mike Flynn, as he called on Congress to pass legislation that would reinstate the “conflict minerals” trade sanctions that were suspended in December.
Flynn, who retired in 2017, was forced to resign after he was caught misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other top White House officials about his conversations with Kislyak.
Kushner was fired from his position as a top White Trump aide earlier this year after being investigated by the FBI for his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, and other officials.
Kislyak met with Trump on three occasions at Trump Tower in New York in March.
The Trump administration said he was unaware that he had met with Kislyak during those conversations.
Trump has frequently criticized the intelligence community, accusing them of bias against him and even of leaking classified information to the press.
“The fact that the media is so hostile to me because of what they know, is unbelievable to me,” Trump said.
“They have nothing to do with it.”