United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday lashed out at people inside the White House for leaking internal deliberations and called them “traitors and cowards”.

“The so-called leaks coming out of the White House are a massive over exaggeration put out by the Fake News Media in order to make us look as bad as possible,” he said in a tweet. “With that being said, leakers are traitors and cowards, and we will find out who they are!”

The tweet came amid a controversy over a White House aide’s comments against Senator John McCain, who is battling brain cancer. White House communications aide Kelly Sadler reportedly said last week that McCain’s opposition to presidential nominee Gina Haspel for the director of US’ Central Intelligence Agency did not matter as “he is dying anyway”.

White House Deputy Principal Press Secretary Raj Shah told reporters at a press conference that Sadler had reportedly already apologised to McCain’s family.