An NBC national security reporter said Friday night that there is a pattern of “incredible and unusual leaks in this administration” that he’s never seen before.
Ken Dilanian made the comments when discussing The Washington Post article that cites U.S. officials referring to intercepts of the Russian ambassador saying that Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner wanted to set up a secret communications channel with the Kremlin. This is one of many stories relying on damaging leaks to come out during the Trump administration.
“One other thing that people are remarking about this story is that whoever leaked this story to The Washington Post was willing to disclose that the United States was monitoring the communications of the Russian ambassador back to Moscow. That’s really unusual and it’s a damaging leak. There’s no doubt about it,” Dilanian said.
He added that the “ability to intercept those communications will go away now. The Russians know it exists. But whoever leaked it was so disturbed by the conduct that they were willing to allow that interception ability to go away.”
The NBC national security reporter went on to say, “We’ve seen a pattern of incredible and unusual leaks in this administration that we haven’t seen before. When you talk about transcripts of conversations or notes of conversations in the Oval Office, about conversations President Trump had with, for example, the Russian foreign minister in the case of that incident where he’s accused of leaking classified information by talking too much about an ISIS operation, or even think of a month or so ago where his angry phone call with the Australian prime minister was leaked. I mean, these are incredible.”
President Trump did release a statement Thursday in which he said that he has asked the Department of Justice to conduct a “complete review” into leaks. Trump said that the culprits will be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” The comments came after the United Kingdom said they would stop sharing intelligence with the U.S. after a series of leaks to American media following the Manchester terrorist attack.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement: “These leaks cannot be tolerated and we will make every effort to put an end to it. We have already initiated appropriate steps to address these rampant leaks that undermine our national security.”