Senate Republicans: Leaks harming national security

Senate Republicans: Leaks harming national security

Senate Republicans are warning that increased leaks since President Trump took office could harm national security.

A report released by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonFrustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' Barr throws curveball into Senate GOP 'spying' probe Bipartisan group of senators introduce legislation designed to strengthen cybersecurity of voting systems MORE (R-Wis.), obtained by Politico, says leaks of national security information during Trump's predecessors' administrations "were relatively rare, even with America's vibrant free press."

"Under President Trump, leaks are flowing at the rate of one a day," the report says, citing an examination of open-source material by the majority staff of Johnson's committee.

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"Articles published by a range of national news organizations between January 20 and May 25, 2017 included at least 125 stories with leaked information potentially damaging to national security. Even a narrow search revealed leaks of comparable information during the Trump administration that were about seven times higher than the same period during the two previous administrations."

Since Trump was inaugurated, news organizations have "reported on an avalanche of leaks from officials across the U.S. government," the report says.

Many of the leaks have been related to investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

"But the leak frenzy has gone far beyond the Kremlin and has extended to other sensitive information that could harm national security," according to the report. "President Trump’s private conversations with other foreign leaders have shown up in the press, while secret operations targeting America’s most deadly adversaries were exposed in detail."

The report warned that the leaks don't happen in a vacuum.

"They can, and do, have real world consequences for national security," it says.

"To ensure the security of our country’s most sensitive information, federal law enforcement officials ought to thoroughly investigate leaks of potentially sensitive information flowing at an alarming rate."

The Trump administration has been subject to many leaks over the course of the administration.

Trump and his aides have often referenced information leaked to the media, and past reports have said Trump was frustrated by the leaks.

According to Politico, Johnson also plans to send a letter about the implications of the leaks on national security to Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump's nastiest break-ups: A look at the president's most fiery feuds Five takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe Amash: Some of Trump's actions 'were inherently corrupt' MORE.