CIA director: Leaks 'seem to be on the increase'

CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoDiplomat who raised Ukraine concerns to testify in Trump impeachment probe Overnight Defense: Trump weighs leaving some troops in Syria to 'secure the oil' | US has pulled 2,000 troops from Afghanistan | Pelosi leads delegation to Afghanistan, Jordan Mulvaney faces uncertain future after public gaffes MORE said on Saturday that the U.S. may be experiencing a surge in improper leaks of classified information, and called on the intelligence community to step up efforts to stymie such disclosures.

"In some ways, I do think it’s accelerated,” Pompeo said in an interview with MSNBC aired Saturday. “I think there is a phenomenon, the worship of Edward Snowden, and those who steal American secrets for the purpose of self-aggrandizement or money or for whatever their motivation may be does seem to be on the increase.”

The U.S., Pompeo said, is facing an unprecedented number of threats to the country's intelligence, saying that it's not only foreign governments working to steal information, but non-state actors, as well.

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"We need to redouble our efforts," he said. "It’s tough. You now have not only nation states trying to steal our stuff, but non-state, hostile intelligence services, well-funded – folks like WikiLeaks, out there trying to steal American secrets for the sole purpose of undermining the United States and democracy."

The U.S. has, in fact, seen a number of high-profile leaks of classified information in recent years.

Former Army soldier Chelsea ManningChelsea Elizabeth ManningWhistleblowers and the hypocrisy of the ruling class Pamela Anderson: Julian Assange has been 'psychologically tortured' in London prison WaPo announces plans to increase investigative journalism staff MORE leaked hundreds of thousands of pages of classified government documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks in 2010. She was convicted of violating the Espionage Act and spent nearly seven years in military prison. Manning was released last month.

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden disclosed information about controversial government surveillance programs in 2013, prompting him to claim asylum in Russia. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails MORE has frequently assailed leaks of classified information to news organizations, particularly those related to the special counsel investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election.