Donald Trump celebrated leaks during campaign, now he says its ‘unAmerican’


U.S. President Donald Trump has spent several days lashing out at so-called “low-life leakers” on Twitter, vowing they will be caught and emphasizing the “illegal” nature of their acts.

But these attacks stand in stark contrast to Trump’s opinions during his presidential campaign, where he once proclaimed, “I love Wikileaks,” over a crowd of supports chanting “Lock her up.”

READ MORE: Donald Trump vows ‘low-life leakers’ will be caught

At the time, Trump was celebrating the whistle-blowing organization for releasing batches of democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails. Trump cited those leaked emails several times throughout his presidential campaign in hopes of painting Clinton as an untrustworthy candidate.

During another campaign rally, he looked to another batch of leaked Clinton emails to poke fun at reports she had to be given written notes reminding her to smile at events. Weeks later he credited Wikileaks for allegedly uncovering a plot by the Democratic party to pay protesters to interrupt his rallies.

WATCH: Trump says WikiLeaks show Clinton needs ‘secret’ reminders to smile

Yet now Trump is fuming, blasting the U.S. intelligence community, accusing them of leaking classified information about former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned Monday amid reports he had misled officials about his contacts with Russia.

Instead of commenting on the scandal surrounding his administration’s ties to Russia, Trump took to Twitter to say, “The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by “intelligence” like candy. Very un-American!”

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Trump has sent at least six tweets lashing out over leaks since Tuesday, in addition to calling on what he describes as “fake news” organizations, such as the New York Times, to apologize for citing leaks in their stories.

“The press has become so dishonest that if we don’t talk about it we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people,” he said during a press conference Thursday. “The level of dishonesty is out of control.”

Ironically, many have pointed out that the same New York Times reporter who published the story on the Trump campaigns ties to Russia was also the first to publish a story on the Clinton email server.

“We’re going to find the leakers. They’re going to pay a big price for leaking,” Trump told members of the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday.

Though Trump has widely deemed these leaks as “illegal,” experts say its unclear whether or not those responsible for the leaks have committed any crimes.

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“When the President calls leaks ‘illegal,’ what that means is that he disapproves of them. It does not necessarily mean that a crime has been committed,” said Steven Aftergood, director of the government secrecy project at the Federation of American Scientists.

Aftergood said it is possible these kind of leaks could be in violation of the law, but it depends on very specific circumstances, including whether the information was classified, if it falls within the scope of the Espionage Act provisions on protecting “national defense information,” and whether the information was knowingly and willfully disclosed to an unauthorized person.

“Only if the answers to all of these questions were yes would be it possible to start assembling a case against the leaker,” he said.