CIA director blames media for leaks from intelligence community
The media’s “insatiable demand” for leaks is prompting the US intelligence community to anonymously disclose government secrets, according to CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who spoke after President Donald Trump blasted intelligence agencies for constant leaks.
“The media’s insatiable demand for leaks presents enormous risks to the United States of America,” Pompeo told the Washington Free Beacon.
“I am confident that this administration is going to do its level best, once the secrets are out, to identify those who did them,” Pompeo added. His comments came on the heels of President Trump saying that he wants leakers to be prosecuted.
Last week, Pompeo blasted The New York Times for publishing the name of the undercover officer in charge of the agency’s Iran operations.
“It matters to me personally. We have CIA officers who will get killed as a result of these [leaks],” Pompeo said in the Free Beacon interview.
Leaks from the intelligence community have plagued Trump’s White House since he took office. They included information about his conversations with world leaders, as well as counterterrorism efforts.
US media have increasingly relied on anonymous intelligence sources for their reporting. And many of the leaks were used to attack President Trump.
After Trump’s conversation with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, in May, intelligence sources leaked to the press that Trump discussed a terrorist threat to civil aviation with the diplomat.
Following the terrorist attack in Manchester, UK, American intelligence sources leaked the name of the terrorist and the gory images from the scene of the attack - without British authorities’ consent. The country temporarily stopped sharing intelligence with the US as a result of the incident.
“I want the attorney general to be much tougher on the leaks from intelligence agencies, which are leaking like rarely have they ever leaked before at a very important level,” Trump said Tuesday.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions will launch a Department of Justice investigation into the government leaks, the White House’s new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, told Fox News on Wednesday morning.
“Yeah. I think he has got a plan that he’s put together, and at some point, I don’t know if it will be today, tomorrow or next week, he will announce that plan,” he said in response to a question about reports that Sessions plans to launch a leak investigation. “Listen, we have to crack down on leaks on a number of different fronts.”
Scaramucci had already vowed to purge the White House staff of disloyal aides in an effort to crack down on leaks.
“I’m going to fire everybody — that’s how,” he told reporters when asked how he’s going to identify those responsible for unauthorized disclosures.
Assistant White House Press Secretary Michael C. Short abruptly resigned on Tuesday, prompting reports that White House staffers are on edge.