At a campaign rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in October, then-candidate Donald Trump proclaimed, "I love WikiLeaks."
He went on to read hacked emails related to opponent Hillary Clinton that WikiLeaks had made public. Trump referred to the documents several times during the final stretch of a bitter campaign.
As president, though, Trump has denounced leaks from intelligence officials to major newspapers. His latest tirade against leakers came Wednesday morning, following a series of Washington Post and New York Times reports about contacts with Russian officials from his administration, and previously his campaign.
Trump tweet: Information is being illegally given to the failing @ nytimes& @ washingtonpostby the intelligence community (NSA and FBI?).Just like Russia
Trump continued: The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by "intelligence" like candy. Very un-American!
The Post's reporting led to the revelation that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn may have misled Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials about the topics of his conversation with Sergey Kislyak, Russian ambassador to the United States. Flynn resigned Monday night, and the White House said Trump asked him to do so because of a breach of trust, not because the administration thought he may have broken the law.
The Times then reported that intercepted calls show Trump campaign officials had contact with Russian intelligence officials during his campaign. The officials may not have been aware that their Russian contacts were intelligence officials, the Times said.
Trump claimed that the "real scandal" in his White House was not the handling of Flynn's actions but the leaks to newspapers. He argued that the intelligence community's actions are "just like Russia," after comparing U.S. leaks to Nazi Germany last month.
Democrats and Republicans have often been more critical of leaks when the information given out hurts their agenda. Trump's attacks on the intelligence community, and the number of leaks coming out of his administration, threaten to continue to pit Trump against intelligence officials.