CNN’s Jake Tapper Asks: Is Trump Escalating Obama’s ‘War on Leaks’?

On Friday, ex-Senate Intel Committee aide James Wolfe appeared before a judge on charges of lying to the FBI about his contacts with reporters. His case, as the New York Times noted, “led to the first known instance of the Justice Department going after a reporter’s data under President Trump.” Yet, as CNN’s Jake Tapper noted on The Lead, attacks on press freedom did not begin with the Trump administration. Instead, according to Tapper, under the Obama administration, the media “called it out all the time.” “The Obama Administration also repeatedly attacked press freedoms and we called it out at the time,” Tapper said. “It was heinous then and it is just as contemptible now.” Then referring the to Wolfe case specifically, Tapper continued on: “Questions we have about this incident include the following: if the Senate intelligence committee staffer was charged with lying and not with leaking, how bad could the leaks have been? Is the Trump Administration escalating the Obama Administration’s war on leaks by trampling on the First Amendment for the disclosure of information that isn’t even particularly sensitive?” Finally, after wondering “how many other reporters” the DOJ may be stealth probing, he concluded by saying this: “For those Trump supporters who don’t care about this issue, and I will remind you of what I said when it was the Obama Administration violating press freedoms, specifically when the Obama Administration was taking unusual steps in a leak investigation to go after a Fox News journalist.” The CNN host then played a clip of himself from 2013 saying, “Even if you side with this president over those of us in the media who challenge him and his administration, it is important to remember the precedent these actions set going forward. Perhaps when it’s not your guy in the White House.” Watch above, via CNN. [image via screengrab]

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