Trump tried to defend Flynn by saying there was nothing wrong if he was calling up other countries and talking to them as it was his job. Photograph: (Reuters)
Trump also denied that he ordered Flynn to have a conversation with Moscow's envoy to the US
Addressing a press conference discussing issues that have plagued the first few weeks of his presidency, Trump tried to defend his administration from recent controversies about links with Russian intelligence.
Calling the reports of alleged links between his aides and Russia a 'ruse' and a 'scam' perpetrated by media, Trump sought to distance his campaign last year from any Russian help.
"The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake," Trump told a news conference about reports that his campaign team was in contact with the Russian intelligence.
Trump also denied that he ordered Michael Flynn to have a conversation with Moscow's envoy to the US about the Russian sanctions.
Michael Flynn, a close aide of President Trump, was fired by him as the US National Security Adviser for misleading Vice-President Mike Pence about his conversation with the Russian envoy to the US on Russian sanction, before Trump's inauguration on January 20.
But, in the same breath, he tried to defend Flynn by saying there was nothing wrong if he was calling up other countries and talking to them as it was his job.
"What he did wasn`t wrong," Trump said.
"Mike was doing his job. He was calling countries and his counterparts. So, it certainly would have been OK with me if he did it. ... I didn`t direct him, but I would have directed him because that`s his job," he added.
Trump said that he has asked the Justice Department to look into the leaks of "classified information that was given illegally" to journalists regarding the relationship between his aides and Russia.
Obama had imposed fresh sanctions on Russia on December 29 after US intelligence reports that Russia had interfered with the election process.
Speaking at the press conference, Trump also said that he "inherited a mess".
"To be honest, I inherited a mess. It's a mess. At home and abroad. A mess. Low pay, low wages. Mass instability overseas no matter where you look. The Middle East a disaster. North Korea. We`ll take care of it, folks. We're going to take care of it all," he said.
He also intoduced Alexander Acosta, a former federal prosecutor from Florida, as his nominee to lead the Department of Labour.
His first nominee, Andrew Puzder, withdrew under pressure over his business record.
(WION with inputs from agencies)