Following a series of leaks about classified intelligence briefings, President-elect Donald Trump took matters into his own hands.
In a sting operation, Trump set up a secret briefing to trap intelligence officials whom he felt were behind the leaks that leveled unproven and vulgar 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,” he told reporters in his first post-election press conference on Wednesday.
“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 as he laid out the details of the scheme.
“Somebody’s leaking them out,” he continued. “So I said, ‘Maybe it’s my office. Maybe my office.’ Because I’ve got a lot of people … Maybe it’s them?”
He explained his plan and how he even shielded his longtime aide, Rhona Graff from word of the meeting.
“What I did, is I said I won’t tell anybody. I’m going to have a meeting, and I won’t tell anybody about my meeting with intelligence,” Trump said. “Nobody knew, not even Rhona, my executive assistant for years. She didn’t know – I didn’t tell her. Nobody knew.”
Despite the secrecy, word leaked out anyway Trump revealed.
“The meeting was had, the meeting was over. They left, and immediately the word got out that I had a meeting,” the president-elect said. “So, I don’t want that. It’s very unfair to the country. It’s very unfair to our country what’s happening.”
Watch video of the press conference below, with comments about the sting operation coming at about the 53:00 mark:
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