- Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
President Donald Trump said Thursday that he’s asking the Department of Justice to investigate alleged leaks from US officials of information about the recent terrorist attack in Manchester, England, as fury from the UK side escalates.
“The alleged leaks coming out of government agencies are deeply troubling,” Trump said in a statement, promising that his administration will “get to the bottom of this.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement that the leaks “cannot be tolerated and we will make every effort to put an end to it. We have already initiated appropriate steps to address these rampant leaks that undermine our national security.”
UK Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday that she planned to confront Trump at a NATO meeting about the leaks, which included highly sensitive police photos of the ongoing investigation into the attack.
“I will make clear to President Trump that intelligence which is shared between our law-enforcement agencies must remain secure,” May said in a statement.
Trump said he’s asking the DOJ and other agencies to “launch a complete review of this matter” and said that “if appropriate, the culprit should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
He also recognized the importance of the US’ relationship with the UK, which is arguably America’s closest intelligence sharing partner.
“There is no relationship we cherish more than the Special Relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom,” Trump said.
British security officials reacted with fury to the leaks, with one telling the Financial Times that lives were being put at risk. The BBC also reported Thursday that the police in Manchester had stopped sharing information about the investigation with the US because of the ongoing leaks.
Images of the remnants of the backpack used in the bomb attack, evidence of shrapnel, and a possible detonator were all published by The New York Times along with a layout of where those killed by the blast were standing.
Trump has long lamented leaks from within the government and his own White House, some of which have led to critical reporting on his activities, which he sees as undermining his administration.
Adam Bienkov contributed to this report.