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Right Groups Denounce Sessions Tough Talk on Leaks

Right Groups Denounce Sessions Tough Talk on LeaksRight Groups Denounce Sessions Tough Talk on Leaks

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has vowed to crack down on those who leak classified or sensitive national security information, as well as review the way journalists are subpoenaed, with Rights groups calling it a "crackdown on democracy"

The announcement on Friday follows a torrent of damaging revelations to the media, following six months of political intrigue and open feuding within the White House, Al Jazeera reported.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly fumed about "illegal leaks" and even lashed out publicly at Sessions last week for taking what he called a "very weak" position on the issue.

Under pressure, and with some saying his job could be on the line, Sessions responded.

"I strongly agree with the president and condemn in the strongest terms the staggering number of leaks undermining the ability of our government to protect this country," Sessions said.

"We are taking a stand. This culture of leaking must stop."

Rights groups say the public should be "concerned" about the announcement.

"Every American should be concerned about the Trump administration's threat to step up its efforts against whistleblowers and journalists. This is a crackdown on democracy." Ben Wizner of the American Civil Liberties Union said.

The organization also said on Twitter that a "crackdown on leaks is a crackdown on the free press and on democracy as a whole".

Four people have already been charged with "unlawfully disclosing" classified material or concealing contacts with federal officers, Sessions said.

He said the Department of Justice has more than tripled the number of active leaks investigations compared with the number pending when Trump's predecessor Barack Obama left office, and the number of referrals to the justice department for potential investigation of unauthorized disclosures had "exploded".

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