Trump vows to prosecute for UK leak
He said the leaks of evidence were “deeply troubling” and has vowed “to get to the bottom of this”, adding that he instructed the Department of Justice to launch a full investigation into the allegations.
Trump called the leaks “alleged” although the details are presumed to have come from Washington since US news organisations were the first to publish details of the investigation and explosion. “There is no relationship we cherish more than the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom”, the tycoon-president said.
Trump added: “These leaks have been going on for a long time and my administration will get to the bottom of this. The leaks of sensitive information pose a grave threat to our national security.”
The US media was the first to report the attacker’s name and many details about the victims, leading to condemnation from the UK government and Andy Burnham, the new mayor of Manchester. The New York Times publishing pictures of the bomb, reporting in detail how it had been made and used.
British officials were furious when the Times published forensic photographs of sophisticated bomb parts that UK authorities fear could complicate the expanding investigation into the lethal blast, in which six more arrests have been made in the UK along with two in Libya.
Trump threatened to identify and prosecute those who handed unauthorised information to the paper.
He said he was asking the justice department and other agencies to launch a review: “If appropriate, the culprit should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The British police were working at the time to determine if there were more potential attacks in addition to Monday’s bomb at the Ariana Grande concert that killed at least 22 people and injured nearly 60.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May warned Trump that the suspected leaks could undermine or jeopardise shared intelligence operations with the US.
May reportedly confronted him about the issue during the traditional photograph of world leaders at the Nato summit taking place in Brussels.
A UK government source said: “These images from inside the American system are clearly distressing to victims, their families and other members of the public. Protests have been lodged at every relevant level between the British authorities and our US counterparts. They are in no doubt about our huge strength of feeling on this issue. It is unacceptable.”
Picture source: Flickr