On Friday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press conference to announce that the Department of Justice has tripled the number of investigations into leaks since he took office.
The meeting with reporters wasn’t very newsworthy, but it didn’t take long for the GOP’s Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, to put a negative spin on the words of Sessions. Not surprisingly, the ACLU weighed in, too.
Excerpt from Sky News
US attorney general Jeff Sessions has said the Trump administration is “taking a stand” against unauthorised leaks of classified information.
It follows a series of news reports concerning the White House and Mr Trump’s presidential campaign that relied on sensitive material.
The Justice Department has warned some of the information being leaked has the potential to threaten national security.
Mr Sessions told reporters that ‘the culture of leaking must stop’
Mr Sessions said the Trump administration is determined to tackle “the staggering number of leaks undermining the ability of our government to protect this country”.
He told reporters that the number of investigations into leaks of sensitive information has trebled since Mr Trump took office, and four people have already been charged.
Anger in the White House about leaks has been growing of late.
The Washington Post has published embarrassing transcripts of conversations the President held with the leaders of Mexico and Australia back in January.
Fair enough. The ability of Trump and other world leaders to be forthright with each other is compromised when their exact words are going to be broadcast to the world. This situation is unprecedented as far as I am aware.
But leave it to Trump’s nemesis Paul Ryan to put a negative spin on the effort to stop leaks.
House Speaker Paul Ryan criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ insinuation that the Justice Department could subpoena journalists in its investigations of information leaks.
Sessions made the suggestion in a Friday press conference in which he outlined steps being taken to reduce the volume of leaks that have frequently embarrassed President Donald Trump and his administration.
Ryan took issue with Sessions’ characterization of journalists’ roles in reporting stories that include leaked information. While speaking at an event in Muskego, Wisconsin, on Friday, Ryan said it’s “the problem of the leaker, not the journalist,” the Journal Sentinel reported Friday afternoon.
“Leaks are concerning because leaks can often compromise national security, but that’s the problem of the leaker not the journalist,” Ryan said.
Session said earlier Friday: “We respect the important role that the press plays and will give them respect, but it is not unlimited. They cannot place lives at risk with impunity. We must balance their role with protecting our national security and the lives of those who serve in our intelligence community, the armed forces, and all law-abiding Americans.”
A number of press-advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), criticized Sessions’ remarks. The ACLU’s privacy, and technology director, Ben Wizner, said: “Americans should be concerned about the Trump administration’s threat to step up its efforts against whistleblowers and journalists.”
Citing the importance of a free and independent press, Wizner said, “leaders can’t be trusted to disclose vital information that reflects poorly on themselves.”
Where was (((Wizner))) when it was vital for Americans to know that Obama was born in Kenya and used a fake birth certificate to become eligible to run for the presidency?
Draining the swamp is going to include getting rid of Ryan, an effort that will have to be undertaken at the local level. Meanwhile, the people need to do all we can to scare the hell out of Ryan. Trump has an army of loyal followers who have the ability to hound Ryan for the rest of his life, legally of course. That’s what we should be doing to him now.