In the first seven months of President Donald Trump's administration, there's been a particular focus on leakers. Trump himself has decried the leaking of White House info to outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post, and former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci spent much of his 10 days in office attacking leakers. But on Tuesday, Trump retweeted a Fox News report citing potentially leaked classified info, prompting criticism on social media.
The story indicated that U.S. spy satellites saw North Korea transporting cruise missiles to a patrol boat. According to the Fox News article, anonymous U.S. officials with knowledge of the intelligence said that two anti-ship cruise missiles were moved to the boat, even though the government has told North Korea to stop missile testing.
On Monday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told North Korea that the U.S. would open up lines of communication with the country again once they have halted their missile testing. But according to the anonymous officials in the Fox News story, North Korea has not shown any signs of backing down on the testing.
Trump criticized the media for not covering the UN's sanctions on North Korea that were imposed on Monday, saying, "The Fake News Media will not talk about the importance of the United Nations Security Council's 15-0 vote in favor of sanctions on N. Korea!"
U.S. spy satellites detect North Korea moving anti-ship cruise missiles to patrol boat https://t.co/BPFXsLffgy— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) August 8, 2017
While appearing on "Fox & Friends" Tuesday morning, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said she couldn't discuss the story that was on the outlet's home page because it contained classified information. But she did tell them, "it's one of those things I don't know what's going on. I will tell you it's incredibly dangerous when things get out into the press like that."
This news comes after Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to go after leakers in the White House. A day earlier, The Washington Post published leaked transcripts of Trump's calls with foreign leaders in Australia and Mexico.
According to Vox, Sessions hasn't outlined a firm plan to go after leakers, but The New York Times reported that Sessions is looking into three times as many leaks as the Obama administration left open at the end of his term earlier this year. A new counterintelligence committee has been set up by the FBI to pursue these cases, Sessions said.
Asked on Fox about spy satellite report on N Korea (which Trump retweeted), Nikki Haley said can't talk on anything classified, bashed leaks https://t.co/Dgs4qNdzgM— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) August 8, 2017
Trump had been calling out Sessions as "weak" on leakers before his announcement. Following his announcement to start going after more leakers,, Trump praised Sessions' action. He tweeted, "After many years of LEAKS going on in Washington, it is great to see the A.G. taking action! For National Security, the tougher the better!"
Trump's retweeting of classified information from Fox News' report, however, completely contradicts what he's been slamming other media outlets for doing.