Donald Trump’s new secretary of state is going to war with people leaking stories to the press — a claim that was itself leaked to the press on Friday.
Axios reported Friday that officials inside the State Department say Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has enlisted the help of department spokesperson Heather Nauert to crack down on leakers. Some State staffers, Axios noted, feel the move is “heavy-handed” and “unwarranted.”
One such leak to the website includes a meeting Nauert held about department leaks after the Associated Press confirmed rumors that the leader of a special unit overseeing Islamic State created during the Obama administration was to remain employed at State.
Details about the meeting included that Pompeo was “pissed off” about stories leaked by department officials, including the AP’s story on IS special envoy Brett McGurk and “another about slow-rolling Palestinian funding.” The report also noted the department is interviewing “suspected leakers.”
Another of Axios’ sources broke with the department’s conceit that such details are “classified” — or are even leaks at all.
“It’s not leaks; it’s not classified info.It’s reporters confirming what they got from overseas sources,” the source told Axios. “If you’re going to do it, don’t do it in a meeting about leaks that promptly leaks.
“They didn’t learn their lesson when the White House did this?” the source continued.