A State Department memo spotlighting the threat of leaks by department employees was leaked to The Washington Post, the newspaper reported Friday.
The memo, which is authored by acting State Department legal adviser Richard Visek and intended for Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Supreme Court lets Texas abortion law stand Trump-era ban on travel to North Korea extended Want to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump MORE, reportedly details Tillerson’s authority to protect certain privileged information and presents a case against leaks.
“When such information is leaked … it chills the willingness of senior government officials to seek robust and candid advice, which ultimately is to the detriment of informed policymaking and the reputation of the institution from which the leak emanated,” the Post quoted the memo as saying.
The leaks from within the State Department, the memo says, could potentially hinder department officials’ ability to participate in policy discussions, if concern mounts that information isn’t protected.
“If the Department is going to be able to influence policy deliberations, we need to have a reputation for engaging responsibly in those deliberations,” the memo reads.
The memo comes as President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE turns his attention to the numerous leaks pouring out of his administration. Those leaks from government employees to members of the press have fueled much of the coverage of Trump and his associates, including revelations that former national security adviser Michael Flynn discussed sanctions with Russia’s ambassador before Trump's inauguration.
The president on Thursday morning blasted leaks coming out of the FBI, accusing the agency of being “totally unable” to stymie the flow of privileged or classified information to outside sources.
Trump has also argued that journalists should be more concerned about the leaks coming out of the government than the information they reveal.
"The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal with N.Korea etc?" Trump tweeted earlier this month.