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Trump Promotes News Report Based on Anonymous Sources

Trump promoted a Fox News report about U.S. spy satellites detecting North Korean missile movements, based on anonymous sources discussing leaked classified information.
Image: President Trump Departs White House For Bedminster, NJ Vacation
President Donald Trump waves as he walks to Marine One before departing from the White House on August 4, 2017 in Washington. President Trump is traveling to Bedminster, N.J. for his summer break.Mark Wilson / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump hates intelligence leaks — except when he doesn't.

On Tuesday morning, Trump retweeted a Fox News report about U.S. spy satellites detecting North Korean missile movements. The report was based on anonymous sources discussing leaked classified information — a practice Trump has decried repeatedly when articles are based on leaks that are damaging to his White House.

Here's what the president retweeted:

Asked about the report Tuesday morning on Fox, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said she couldn't comment on classified information, but said, "if that's in the newspaper, that's a shame."

The president's action came just days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats announced stepped-up efforts against government leaks, which Sessions said were undermining "the ability of our government to protect this country."

"I have this warning for would-be leakers: Don't do it!" Sessions said on Friday.

The Fox report that was retweeted by the president to his more than 35 million Twitter followers included quotations from officials who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive information. Trump has derided news organizations for using anonymous sources, saying those sources don't exist and even proposing that the use of such sources be barred.

"They shouldn't be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody's name," the president said during a speech in February to the Conservative Political Action Conference. "Let their name be put out there."

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted that Trump "must stop" his own penchant for sharing sensitive information. In May, it was reported that the president revealed highly classified intelligence information to Russian officials during a meeting at the White House.