Donald Trump vows probe into ‘troubling’ leaks from Manchester bomb investigation to US media
The pair will meet as UK police reportedly stop sharing intelligence with the US – after crime scene photos were leaked to the New York Times
The President made the commitment after meeting with Theresa May at a Nato summit in Brussels today, after crime scene photos were leaked to the New York Times.
Trump said the leaks were “a grave threat to national security”, and the culprit would be prosecuted if appropriate.
In a statement, President Trump said: “The alleged leaks coming out of government agencies are deeply troubling.
“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
“I am asking the Department of Justice and other relevant agencies to launch a complete review of this matter, and if appropriate the culprit should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“There is no relationship we cherish more than the Relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.”
In a televised statement the PM said: “I will make clear to President Trump that intelligence that is shared between our law enforcement agencies must remain secure.”
Mrs May said the security level will remain at “critical” – meaning an attack is highly likely or imminent.
Speaking inside Number 10, the Tory leader said: “I have just chaired a meeting of Cobra where I was updated on the extraordinary response of the police and emergency services to Monday’s horrific attack.
“The police have confirmed that eight suspects remain in custody and that progress is being made in the case but the threat level, as assessed by the independent joint terrorism analysis centre, will remain at critical and the public should remain vigilant.”
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) warned the astonishing leak by the US, showing a bloodied detonator and mapping the deaths, “undermines our investigations and the confidence of victims, witnesses and their families”.
Bomber Salman Abedi’s name, casualty figures and the method of attack were all also leaked to US media.
Police have now stopped passing information to the US on the investigation as a “temporary measure”, the BBC reported.
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A Whitehall source said “protests have been lodged at every relevant level” with US officials.
It is understood Home Secretary Amber Rudd called US Attorney General Jeff Sessions last night to voice her displeasure.
The source added: “They are in no doubt about our huge strength of feeling on this issue. It is unacceptable.”
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has raised the issue directly with acting US ambassador Lew Lukens.
Mr Burnham said: “These leaks are completely unacceptable, and must stop immediately.
“This behaviour is arrogant and is undermining the investigation into the horrific attack on the city of Manchester.”
One anonymous source claimed the “berserk” Home Secretary Ms Rudd also insisted the acting ambassador came to the Home Office yesterday.
She had already publicly branded the leaks “irritating” and warned they “shouldn’t happen again” before the New York Times leak.
The Mirror was unable to verify the claim with a second source.
But while declining to confirm or deny the claim, a Home Office official pointed to the Whitehall source’s earlier statement that protests were lodged “at every relevant level.”
Lord Blair, former Met Police commissioner, compared the leaks to the way US intelligence acted after the 7/7 bombings.
“This is a very grievous breach but I’m afraid it’s the same as before,” he told the BBC
Soldiers are patrolling at key landmarks in place of police officers to free them to work on the investigation.