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In tweets, Trump says stories based on White House leaks are fabricated

 (European Pressphoto Agency)
(European Pressphoto Agency)

President Trump is back – and tweeting.

In a Sunday morning series of posts on Twitter, the president repeated his denunciations of the “fake media,” celebrated the Republican victory in a Montana special election and declared his overseas trip a success.

Trump returned to the White House late Saturday after a swing through the Middle East and Europe, the first foreign trip of his presidency. During it, he tweeted only sparingly.

While Trump was away, controversy continued to swirl around his White House, with media reports focusing on son-in-law Jared Kushner’s role in Trump campaign contacts with Russian officials. The GOP healthcare plan and Trump’s budget also came under withering scrutiny during the president's absence.

In Sunday’s tweets, Trump said cascading leaks from within his administration were in fact “fabricated lies” by news organizations based on sources that did not exist. One tweet was corrected to fix the spelling of “exist.”

Trump also complained that the special congressional election in Montana, called to fill the seat vacated when Ryan Zinke became his Interior secretary, "was such a big deal to Dems & Fake News until the Republican won." The "V was poorly covered," he said, referring to the Republican victory.

The victory by Republican candidate Greg Gianforte received extensive coverage. It was widely expected, given Montana's significant Republican edge, but made more suspenseful on the eve of the election when Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault for an incident in which he struck a reporter who had asked him a question.

The president received mixed reviews for his inaugural overseas venture. He was praised by some for his outreach to Sunni Arab allies in the Persian Gulf, but continued his administration’s practice of making no public criticism of serious human rights violations.

In Europe, he rattled allies by declining to explicitly endorse the NATO alliance’s bedrock common defense pledge or pledge to adhere to the Paris climate accord.

Whatever the commentary surrounding the trip, Trump counted it a success.

“Hard work but big results,” he wrote.

 

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