OPEN FOR BUSINESS: DOJ Coming For Leakers, Sessions Says

"This culture of leaking must stop", Sessions said.

Sessions on Friday said that "no government can be effective when its leaders cannot discuss freely with foreign leaders".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions took new steps Thursday to punish cities he believes are not cooperating with federal immigration agents in a move that was met with bewilderment by local officials who said they did not know why they were being singled out.

But Berry says Albuquerque has been seeking to work with immigration authorities since he took office in 2009 and vehemently denied Albuquerque was a "sanctuary" city. Justice Department officials also said they were reviewing guidelines meant to make it hard for the government to subpoena journalists about their sources, and would not rule out the possibility that a reporter could be prosecuted. "For the past several months we have made changes and are seriously ramping up our efforts".

Mr Sessions said the Trump administration is determined to tackle "the staggering number of leaks undermining the ability of our government to protect this country".

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The Justice Department has experienced an "explosion" in the number of referrals, or requests for probes, this year from intelligence agencies over the leak of classified information, prompting the attorney general to consider whether to loosen regulations on when it can subpoena media organizations.

"At their suggestion, one of the things we are doing is reviewing policies affecting media subpoenas", he added. "The Department of Justice is open for business".

"Third, as I said, we tripled the number of active leak investigations".

Mr Sessions was joined by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who issued a stark warning to leakers. "We must balance their role with protecting our national security and the lives of those who serve in our intelligence community, the armed forces, and all law abiding Americans".

"We've already charged four people with unlawfully disclosing classified material or with concealing contacts with federal officers", Sessions stated".

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"Any disclosure of unauthorised outside of authorised channels is a criminal offense, and we will simply not tolerate the illegal release of classified information", Coats said.

"Anyone who engages in these criminal acts is betraying the intelligence community and the American people", Coats said.

White House staff members may be subject to lie-detector tests as part of the effort to determine who is leaking the sensitive national security information, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, warned Friday. Asked in a Rose Garden ceremony if Sessions should stay in his job, Trump said he wanted Sessions to be "much tougher" on leaks.

"No one is entitled to surreptitiously fight their battles in the media by revealing sensitive government information", he said.

Coates noted DNI is strengthening the security clearence application process is order to prevent potential leakers from gaining access to classified information in the first place.

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