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Intel Chief: Leaks ‘Jeopardize’ Lives, Damage National Security (VIDEO)

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Leaks of crucial national security information put lives at risk, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned Tuesday.

Coats said that leaks of classified information “have played a very significant, negative role” to U.S. national security. He added that leaks undermine U.S. allies’ “confidence” in the intelligence communities’ ability to keep shared information secret and U.S. ability to discover threats.

“Lives are at stake in many instances, and leaks jeopardize those lives,” Coats told Chairman John McCain.

The intelligence chief’s comments come at a time when leaks within the U.S. government have been on the rise, particularly since President Donald Trump took office January. The ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia have made the leaks headline news.

McCain asked Coats about reports that the president has asked him to denounce the ongoing Russia probe. Coats noted that, as the president’s chief intelligence advisor, “it’s not appropriate” for him to publicly comment on the issue.

Trump has consistently railed against the leaks in his government, and has called upon the FBI to root out those responsible for them.

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