Sen. Ron Johnson: 'Avalanche of media leaks' threatens national security

The start of a Trump crackdown on leakers?
The start of a Trump crackdown on leakers?

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The start of a Trump crackdown on leakers? 04:48

Story highlights

  • Sen. Ron Johnson's staff reviewed news articles earlier this year
  • The Wisconsin Republican said leaks have threatened national security

(CNN)The Republican chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee released a new report Thursday warning that the recent influx of classified leaks to the media pose risks to national security.

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson said that under President Donald Trump, "leaks are flowing at the rate of one a day," and his committee found at least 125 news stories "with leaked information potentially damaging to national security," mainly, but not exclusively, related to Russian meddling in the US election, according to articles reviewed by Johnson's staff between January and May.
"But the leak frenzy has gone far beyond the Kremlin and has extended to other sensitive information that could harm national security," the report said. "President Trump's private conversations with other foreign leaders have shown up in the press, while secret operations targeting America's most deadly adversaries were exposed in detail."
    CNN was among the more than a dozen news organizations included in the survey, which included The New York Times, NBC, the Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal.
    Johnson also sent the findings to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying in a letter Thursday he wanted to make the Justice Department "aware of the results of this examination" and hoped it will prove "useful to the relevant investigative entities."
    CNN has reached out to Johnson's office for additional comment and has not yet received a response.
    Following a diplomatic dust-up over leaks to the media during the UK's investigation into the Manchester terrorist attack in May, Sessions said that leaks "cannot be tolerated" and pledged to "make every effort to put an end to it."
    Thus far, at least one former government contractor has been charged with leaking classified information to a news outlet since Trump took office.