President Donald Trump on Thursday morning met with leaders of NATO and spoke out about the on-going problem of illegal intelligence leaks. Trump promised in a statement to launch an investigation led by the Justice Department into the matter and prosecute all culprits "to the fullest extent of the law."
Trump's statement was likely a response to the British government condemning U.S. intelligence for leaking lassified information about the terrorist attack in Manchester. The name of the attacker and photos of the crime scene were allegedly leaked to the press after being passed to the U.S. by British investigators.
British Prime Minister Theresa May publicly warned Trump that "intelligence that is shared between law enforcement agencies must be shared securely."
Trump's statement also condemned the public release of classified information, calling the leaks "deeply troubling" while promising to "get to the bottom of this." Trump's statement aimed to ensure that there "is no relationship we cherish more" than that between the U.S. and U.K.
The alleged leaks coming out of government agencies are deeply troubling. These leaks have been going on for a long time and my Administration will get to the bottom of this. The leaks of sensitive information pose a grave threat to our national security.
I am asking the Department of Justice and other relevant agencies to launch a complete review of this matter, and if appropriate, the culprit should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
There is no relationship we cherish more than the Special Relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.
Trump is not the only one condemning the persistent problem of government leaks. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats on Tuesday said that leaks have played a "negative role relative to our national security" and "jeopardize[d]" lives.