President Trump on Sunday claimed that reports about Russia are "fake news" pushed by the Democrats and the media.
"Russia talk is FAKE NEWS put out by the Dems, and played up by the media, in order to mask the big election defeat and the illegal leaks!" the president tweeted.
Russia talk is FAKE NEWS put out by the Dems, and played up by the media, in order to mask the big election defeat and the illegal leaks!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2017
The president has long blamed Democrats for pushing stories of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race and has blasted the media for what he claims are fake reports.
Trump tweeted earlier this month that the Democrats "had to come up with a story as to why they lost the election, and so badly (306), so they made up a story - RUSSIA."
"FAKE NEWS media, which makes up stories and 'sources,' is far more effective than the discredited Democrats - but they are fading fast!" he tweeted earlier this month.
Last week, he tweeted that the FBI is "totally unable to stop the national security 'leakers' that have permeated our government for a long time" and called for those leaking classified information to be found.
The New York Times reported earlier this month that some of Trump's campaign staffers had repeated contacts with members of Russian intelligence. The report cited U.S. officials but did not detail who was involved in those conversations.
In another story last week, CNN reported that White House chief of staff Reince Priebus reached out to FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe asking them to talk to reporters on background to dispute the stories about communications between Trump associates and Russia.
Comey reportedly rejected the request because the alleged communications are the subject of an investigation.
The discussions between the FBI and the White House could run aground of longstanding rules restrictions of contact regarding pending investigations.
The White House pushed back against the reports, with Trump's top spokesman telling reporters that "what you guys have done is indefensible and inaccurate."