President Donald Trump retweeted a FOX News story on Tuesday morning that relied heavily on classified information that was leaked from inside his administration.
CNN banner right now: "TRUMP RETWEETS REPORT CONTAINING CLASSIFIED INTEL"
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 8, 2017
Trump retweeted several tweets sent from the FOX & Friends account earlier on Tuesday, two of which focused on topics of healthcare and the opioid crisis in America. The third tweet, however, and the first one Trump retweeted out to his audience, contained classified intel about how North Korea was moving anti-ship cruise missiles to a strategic position.
This is the tweet, originally from FOX & Friends, retweeted by Trump this morning.
U.S. spy satellites detect North Korea moving anti-ship cruise missiles to patrol boat https://t.co/BPFXsLffgy
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) August 8, 2017
The information gathered for the story, however, came from an anonymous source inside the administration. And it was information that UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said she couldn’t comment on due to its classified nature.
When asked about the story, Haley said, “I can’t talk about anything that’s classified. And if that’s in the newspaper that’s a shame. I have no reason to comment on it.”
The original FOX News story detailing North Korea’s military movements that FOX & Friends linked on their Twitter account cited “U.S. officials with knowledge of the latest intelligence in the region.” In other words, they are unnamed sources leaking out information to FOX News.
This is a stark departure from the administration who said last week they’d be cracking down on leaks — and cracking down on journalists who print information derived from anonymous sources. Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press conference on Friday explaining that, “We must balance the press’ role with protecting our national security and the lives of those who serve in the intelligence community, the Armed Forces and all law-abiding Americans.”
That sentiment seems to run counter to what President Trump just did — retweeting, and thus promoting information in a news article that relied on anonymous sources, which could directly impact our national security strategies.
Trump also landed in hot water earlier this year for leaking classified military strategies to the Russian ambassador during a closed-door meeting in May.