On Thursday, President trump tweeted that he is pointsed to catch the “low-life leakers” who enabled Washington Post write the bombshell story that led to General Mike Flynn’s downfall.
The spotlight has finally been put on the low-life leakers! They will be caught!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2017
The president’s tweet comes hours after the House Intelligence Committee announced that it would start an investigation into the reports to find who the sources were. The Post unveiled that its sources were nine unnamed former and current intelligence officials.
The White House said that the president himself asked Flynn to resign after he learned the general mislead the Vice President and other officials on his repeated contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.
Unnamed officials with access to phone intercepts said that Flynn discussed with the Russian envoy about the U.S. sanctions on Russia in the wake of the election hacks . Flynn originally denied those contacts until he admitted that he had misled everyone on the issue.
The report published in the Post led to his ouster.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the U.S. intelligence community recently declined to grant president Trump access to their methods of monitoring foreign officials. The issue around the government’s ability to wiretap the phone calls of foreign officials has been controversial in recent years.
In 2013, the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, a world-renown leaker, revealed that the agency had monitored the handsets of multiple world leaders such as the German leader Angela Merkel. Snowden has fled the U.S. and sought asylum in Russia, where he currently lives.
However, it is not the first time leaks rattle the White House. In 1969, former president Richard Nixon had a similar problem when the world learned from leaks that he authorized the secret bombing of Cambodia. As retaliation, Nixon ordered wiretaps of more than a dozen reporters and government officials, but he failed to find the sources.
Former President Obama was more successful in tracking down leakers. Marine general James Cartwright admitted in court that he lied to the FBI about leaking to the press classified information about how the U.S. government had planted a virus on Iranian government’s servers to disrupt the country’s nuclear program. Nevertheless, Obama pardoned the army leaker in the last days of his presidency.
President Trump recently took a fresh swipe at the New York Times for its reporting on “illegal classified leaking”. The president noted that military and intelligence leaks have been a “big problem” in Washington for years. So, he demanded from the “failing” NYT to apologize.
On Wednesday, the president defended his former national security adviser calling him a “wonderful man whom the mainstream media has treated “very, very unfairly”. Trump was upset media outlets published “criminal leaks” about the general. The president also declined to take questions from manstream journalists.
Image Source: Politico