Transcript for Questions about ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn continue to swirl in Washington
Donald Trump did defend the national security adviser he just fired, general Michael Flynn. Blaming the firing not on Flynn, but U.S. Intelligence and their leaks. Jonathan Karl leading us off. Reporter: Today president trump welcomed the third foreign leader at the white house in less than a week. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But overshadowing the visit the sudden firing of the man at the center of his national security team, Michael Flynn. Just 24 hours ago, the white house said Flynn was ousted for deceiving the vice president about his conversation with the Russian ambassador and losing the confidence of the president, but today. General Flynn, is a wonderful man. I think he has been treated unfairly by the media, as I call it the fake media in many cases. And I think it's really a sad thing he was treated so badly. Reporter: Yet it was the president who fired him, and just yesterday, his press secretary said trump did so decisively. The evolving and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation and a series of other questionable instances is what led the president to ask for general Flynn's resignation. Reporter: That so-called "Series of questionable instances" included Flynn's failure to tell the truth about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December on the same day the Obama administration slapped new sanctions on Russia for meddling the election. But now the president is expressing more outrage about leaks in the newspapers than about Flynn's behavior. Blasting the intelligence agencies that now report to him, tweeting, "The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by 'intelligence' like candy. Very un-american." 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. Very very unfair. Reporter: But during the presidential campaign, then-candidate trump reveled in leaks when they were about somebody else, Hillary Clinton. Even praising a group responsible for some of the biggest leaks of classified U.S. Intelligence in all of American history. Wikileaks, I love wikileaks! It's been amazing what's coming out on wikileaks. This wikileaks it's like a treasure trove! Reporter: Today the president refused to answer questions about reports that several people on his campaign team were in contact before the election with suspected Russian intelligence officials. At his press conference, he called only on conservative news outlets. No Russia questions but we tried. Mr. President, can you guarantee that nobody on your campaign had any contact with the Russians? Mr president, any questions on Russia? Mr. President? Reporter: So tonight, that question still looms. During the transition, ABC's Cecilia Vega tried to pin him down. Did you or anyone in your campaign have any contact with Russia leading up to or during the campaign? Reporter: No trump said. Not at all. After general Flynn was fired, we asked Sean spicer -- Can you still say that nobody in the trump campaign, not even general Flynn, had any contact with the Russians before the election? My understanding is that what general Flynn has now expressed is that now during the transition period K-- well, we were very clear that during the transition period, he did speak with the ambassador. I'm talking about during the campaign. I don't have any -- there's nothing that would conclude me that anything different has changed with respect to that time period. Reporter: The turmoil in the white house combined with the national security council shake-up has some key Republicans in congress worried about chaos and dysfunction in the west wing. We don't know who is in charge, this Flynn situation, the whole environment is one of dysfunction in the trump administration. Reporter: The concern not just in Washington. Speaking at a conference, the general in charge the military's special operations command said quote, our government continues to be in unbelievable turmoil. I hope they sort it out soon because her a nation at war." And Jon joining us from the white house, and not taking questions on those reported rgss between trump's associates before the election and Russia. But tonight, the white house did announce the president will hold a rally this weekend, a sort of campaign rally, Jon? Reporter: Not a sort of campaign rally. An official campaign rally, David. They are saying this will be run by his re-election campaign. It will be down near Orlando, Florida. A lot of people don't realize this, but he filed paperwork with the elections commission to set up his 2020 re-election campaign.
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