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

CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Esper says 'most believe' Beirut explosion was accident, contradicting Trump | Trump later says 'nobody knows yet' what happened in Lebanon | 61-year-old reservist ID'd as fourth military COVID-19 death Meadows defends Trump's description of Beirut explosion as an 'attack' Pompeo urges US companies to block downloads of Chinese apps 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 ManningHillicon Valley: Justice Department announces superseding indictment against WikiLeaks' Assange | Facebook ad boycott gains momentum | FBI sees spike in coronavirus-related cyber threats | Boston city government bans facial recognition technology Justice Department announces superseding indictment against Wikileaks' Assange Overnight Defense: National Guard activated to fight coronavirus | Pentagon 'fairly certain' North Korea has cases | General says Iran threat remains 'very high' after US strikes 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 TrumpLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the 'Secretary of Failure' Pence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Twitter bans Trump campaign until it deletes tweet with COVID-19 misinformation 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.