A memo detailing the Trump administration’s plan to crack down on leaks within the government has leaked.
The Sept. 8 memo, from National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, directs “every federal government department or agency” to hold one-hour training sessions on “unauthorized disclosures” next week, according to BuzzFeed News.
The memo includes suggested “training materials” including a C-SPAN clip of Attorney General Jeff Sessions about leaks and a video from a Fox News with National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina.
In August, Sessions said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had created a new counterintelligence unit to specialize in pursuing leaks. He said the Justice Department has tripled the number of leak investigations than President Barack Obama’s administration, which was criticized for its treatment of leakers and whistleblowers.
“I strongly agree with the president and condemn in the strongest terms the staggering number of leaks undermining the ability of our government to protect this country,” he said at the time.
Axios reported earlier this week that Sessions has suggested subjecting federal employees to lie detector tests to try and root out leakers in at least one investigation. President Donald Trump allegedly suggested to then-FBI Director James Comey that the FBI should begin arresting journalists for publishing classified information.
McMaster’s memo says “unauthorized disclosure” of both classified and unclassified information “causes harm to our Nation and shakes the confidence of the American people,” BuzzFeed reports.
The memo was sent to the head of several major federal organizations including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), FBI, Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Security Agency (NSA), and even the Peace Corps.
“Although there are policies and guidance already in place to prevent unauthorized disclosures, it will be time well spent to shine a spotlight on the importance of this issue, and engage the workforce in conversation about what it means to be a steward of United States Government information,” McMaster wrote. “It is particularly important to stress the sharp difference between unauthorized disclosures of information and whistleblowing—the responsibility of all federal employees to report waste, fraud and abuse through proper channels.”
You can read all of BuzzFeed News’ report here.
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