The US intelligence community has screwed up. Someone (or multiple someones) passed along British intel about the Manchester bombing to US reporters before it had been publicly released. This is bad for at least three reasons:
- It quite possibly impedes an active investigation.
- It pisses off British intelligence.
- It gives Donald Trump a very reasonable excuse to demand an investigation into leaking from our intelligence agencies.
This is a bit like the reporters who fail to verify their stories properly and end up making mistakes. It might not happen very often, but it gives Trump ammunition for his claims that the media is out to get him with endless fake news. For that reason, reporters in the age of Trump need to be doubly careful about what they write.
If the intel community is smart, it will figure out where these leaks came from and fire someone fast. But are they smart?
UPDATE: I’m using “intel community” in a very broad sense here since we don’t know where the leak came from. It includes the FBI, which recent reporting has suggested is the most likely culprit.