U.S. President Donald Trump has assailed the leaks of intelligence documents from his White House, but on Tuesday he sent a news story to millions of followers on his social media account about North Korean missiles that was based on reports from anonymous U.S. intelligence sources.
Trump, apparently wanting to emphasize the dangers posed by North Korea's missile tests and nuclear weapons development, used his Twitter account to retweet a Fox News story saying that a few days ago U.S. spy agencies had detected Pyongyang loading two anti-ship cruise missiles onto a patrol boat.
Fox attributed the story to "officials with knowledge of the latest intelligence in the region," although it was not known whether the information was classified as secret. At another point in the story, Fox said it was quoting "one official who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive information."
The story retweeted by President Trump:
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 White House had no immediate comment on why Trump retweeted the story that had appeared on the "Fox & Friends" show, which he frequently watches in the early morning hours.
From his first days in the White House in January, Trump has complained often about leaks of classified information from government agencies, particularly news stories based on the leaks that have cast a shadow on his administration, and he has demanded that those leaking the information be found and prosecuted.
Last month he criticized his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, as "VERY weak" on "Intel leakers!"
But when Sessions last week announced the Justice Department had stepped up its investigations of leaks of classified material, Trump tweeted, "After many years of LEAKS going on in Washington, it is great to see the A.G. taking action! For National Security, the tougher the better!"