After an early Thursday meeting with Republican lawmakers, President Donald Trump spoke to reporters. During the presser, he pledged to punish those who leaked former National Security adviser Michael Flynn's conversations.
Vowing to “find the leakers” and make them “pay a big price” for releasing damaging information about his administration, Trump came in defense of his former adviser, saying Flynn hadn't done “anything wrong.”
He was “just doing his job,” Trump added.
Flynn resigned due to the backlash caused by his discussions with the Russian ambassador during the Trump transition. And since the communications involved the sanctions imposed by former President Barack Obama, Flynn came under fire for telling Vice President Mike Pence the opposite.
Trump allegedly asked the former adviser to step down after losing trust in him.
Earlier this week at a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump told reporters that the leaks had come from the intelligence community, and that “people are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the Democrats had under Hillary Clinton.”
He also called the action “a criminal act," saying it's a practice that has "been going on for a long time before me, but now it’s really going on.”
Newspapers like the New York Times criticized the president over his change of heart, explaining that prior to the election, Trump embraced the Clinton email scandal, which was only made possible due to leaks revealing Clinton's communications with her campaign staff.
At the time, candidate Trump professed his love for WikiLeaks, the same organization that helped to unveil the war crimes committed by the United States military under former President George W. Bush. Now, Trump is even condemning his leaked conversations with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
On Twitter, Trump wasn't bothered by the criticism. Instead, he seemed happy with news outlets reporting on the leaks now that Congress might be opening an investigation.
The spotlight has finally been put on the low-life leakers! They will be caught!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2017
After the Flynn scandal, many who are critical of the media's focus on Russia said the leaks were justified, regardless of the intentions.
In this day and age, it's refreshing to know transparency is attainable. Even if we must rely solely on whistleblowers to get the job done.