The Latest: Attorney general vows to slow government leaks


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ effort to crack down on leaks of classified information (all times EDT):

10:10 p.m.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is pledging to rein in government leaks that he says undermine American security.

Sessions is taking an aggressive public stand after being called weak on the matter by President Donald Trump.

The nation’s top law enforcement official says the number of criminal leak probes has more than tripled in the early months of the Trump administration. Justice Department officials say they are reviewing guidelines put in place to make it difficult for the government to subpoena journalists about their sources, and would not rule out the possibility that a reporter could be prosecuted.

Media advocacy organizations are condemning the announcement. Bruce Brown, the executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, says the decision is “deeply troubling.”


6:20 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says leaks of classified information “can often compromise national security,” but adds that journalists aren’t the problem.

Ryan says the problem lies with “the leaker, not the journalist.” He made the remarks Friday after touring a manufacturing plant in suburban Milwaukee.

President Donald Trump has called Sessions weak for not doing more to crack down on leaks, particularly from the White House.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the Justice Department is reviewing guidelines related to subpoenas of journalists. His announcement comes amid news reports involving the Trump campaign and the White House that relied on classified information.


11:30 a.m.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is warning against leaks of classified information that he says can hurt national security.

His Justice Department announcement comes amid news reports involving the Trump campaign and White House that relied on classified information.

And it comes one week after the president called Sessions weak in cracking down on leaks.

Sessions says the department is reviewing guidelines related to subpoenas of journalists.

The Obama Justice Department brought more leaks cases than all its predecessors combined. It was criticized for maneuvers viewed as needlessly aggressive and intrusive.

The department in 2015 revised its guidelines to require additional levels of approval before a journalist could be subpoenaed.


8:54 a.m.

The White House’s anger about leaks is growing, and the Trump administration is stepping up efforts to crack down on it.

The attorney general and the national intelligence director are set Friday to discuss what the Justice Department calls “leaks of classified material threatening national security.”

A presidential adviser is raising the possibility of lie detector tests for the small number of people in the West Wing and elsewhere with access to transcripts of President Donald Trump’s phone calls. The Washington Post has published transcripts of his conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia.

Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway tells “Fox & Friends” that “it’s easier to figure out who’s leaking than the leakers may realize.”

And might lie detectors be used? She says: “Well, they may, they may not.”

Categories: National News