Trump blames media over spat with US intelligence services
Donald Trump has distanced himself from his repeated criticisms of US intelligence services - claiming the feud was a media fabrication.
The US president has previously likened the CIA to Nazi Germany and accused intelligence officers of leaking an explosive dossier on him.
It was alleged in the documents that Russia held compromising material on the tycoon.
Mr Trump's team said the agency was "the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction".
He has also criticised the CIA over its judgment that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election on his behalf by hacking into emails linked to rival Hillary Clinton.
But despite videos, his tweets, and statements from his own team showing him directly criticising intelligence agencies, he alleged the perception of hostility had been crafted by the press.
His strongly worded assessment came after he rounded off transitional duties at a national prayer service and travelled to a meeting at the CIA headquarters in Virginia.
Mr Trump said: "They (the media) sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community... It is exactly the opposite, exactly, and they understand that too."
The former reality TV star also said he wanted the CIA to help him achieve his goal of "eradicating" Islamist terrorism "completely from the face of the Earth".
"I believe that this group (the CIA) is going to be one of the most important groups in this country toward making us safe, toward making us winners again, toward ending all of the problems - we have so many problems that are interrelated that we don't even think of, but interrelated to the kind of havoc and fear that this sick group of people (extremists) has caused.
"So I can only say that I am with you 1,000% and the reason you are my first stop is that I have a running war with the media, they are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth."