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‘Leaks real, the news is fake’: Reporters hit out at Trump trashing of media

‘Leaks real, the news is fake’: Reporters hit out at Trump trashing of media
President Donald Trump’s comments that leaks emanating from his government are real, but news about behind-the-scenes information being “fake” has created a bubble of confusion online.

President Trump was bombarded with questions regarding the leaks which led to the resignation of his national security advisor, Mike Flynn, while announcing former Assistant Attorney General Alexander Acosta as his nominee for secretary of labor on Thursday.

Asked by a reporter whether the leaks coming from his administration were genuine, Trump said: “Well the leaks are real… the news is fake because so much of the news is fake.”

READ MORE: Gen. Michael Flynn resigns as National Security Advisor over contacts with Russia 

The statement has resulted in a Twitter meltdown from some reporters and viewers of Thursday's White House press conference.

Responding online, NBC News reporter Bradd Jaffy tweeted: “Both. Of . Those. Things. Cannot. Be. True. At. The. Same. Time.”

Journalist Kurt Eichenwald, who last year reported how he had been assaulted via Twitter, described the comment as a historic presidential quote for “silliness”.

Meanwhile Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan, perhaps fed up with all the recent White House escapades, called for the return of former US presidents George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Richard Nixon.

“All is forgiven,” he tweeted. “Trump just said he watches CNN and he doesn’t watch CNN in the same sentence. In the SAME SENTENCE,” he added.

Earlier Trump said leaks about government activities were ‘illegal’.

“The first thing I thought of is how does the press get this information that’s classified… it’s an illegal process, and the press should be ashamed of themselves,” he said.

“But more importantly, the people that gave out the information to the press should be ashamed of themselves.”

READ MORE: House Intelligence Committee wants to probe leaks that led to Flynn’s resignation 

Mike Flynn resigned from his senior advisory role after it emerged he had given “incomplete information” to Vice President-Elect Mike Pence about a December call with Russia's ambassador to the US.

Republican Devin Nunes, who heads the US House Intelligence Committee, has suggested that an investigation should be launched into how confidential phone talks were made available to the media.