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

CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoWatchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US State Dept. denies report Pompeo heard recording of Khashoggi's murder The Memo: Saudi storm darkens for Trump 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 Manning 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 TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US 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.