[1/11/17] President-elect Donald Trump, after growing suspicious that intelligence officials were leaking news about their classified briefings with him, says he conducted a sting operation to try to prove top spies were behind the leaks.
Trump revealed the extraordinary scheme to try to entrap the senior spies in a furious press conference where he suggested the intelligence community had been behind salacious and totally unproven allegations against him.
‘I think it’s pretty sad when intelligence reports get leaked out to the press. First of all, it’s illegal. These are classified and certified meetings and reports,’ Trump said during a press conference at Trump Tower – his first since getting elected.
Then he revealed the details of the stealthy sting he says he conducted on the nation’s senior spooks.
‘I’ll tell you what does happen. I have many meetings with intelligence. And every time I meet, people are reading about it,’ Trump said, possibly referencing reports on his classified briefings, which he has chosen not to receive daily.
‘So I said, “Maybe it’s my office. Maybe my office.” Because I’ve got a lot of people … Maybe it’s them?’
‘What I did, is I said I won’t tell anyone. I’m going to have a meeting, and I won’t tell anybody about my meeting with intelligence,’ Trump continued.
He even shielded one of his closest aides from word of the meeting.
‘Nobody knew – not even Rhoda, my executive assistant for years. She didn’t know – I didn’t tell her. Nobody knew,’ Trump continued.
Having set the trap, Trump says the word leaked anyway
‘The meeting was held. They left, and immediately the word got out that I had a meeting. So, I don’t want that. It’s very unfair to the country. It’s very unfair to our country what’s happening,’ he said.