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Trump growing suspicious of Bannon over leaks: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump (L) and Senior Counselor to the President Stephen Bannon (Photo by AFP)

US President Donald Trump is becoming growingly suspicious of his chief strategist Stephen Bannon as the man behind the many leaks that have driven the White House into chaos, a new report claims.

Apparently, Trump has been “irritated” with Bannon over a series of reports against his National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster published by Breibart, Axios reported Saturday.

At one point in early August, Breitbart, had close to a dozen headlines on its home page about General McMaster, like “McMaster ‘Deeply Hostile to Israel and to Trump.’”

Bannon was formerly the executive chairman of the far-right news outlet. Although there is no clear links between him and the reports, that West Wing staff at the White House believe Bannon is the source of the leaks.

Trump has long denounced leaks of sensitive information to media, including the details of his confidential Oval Office phone conversations with other world leader as well as other White House secrets.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions pledged earlier this month to clamp down on people who leak government’s classified information after Trump publicly criticized him for taking a “very weak” line against leakers.

Since Trump took office in January, government leaks have tripled and Sessions says the “staggering” trend extremely undercuts US national security.

According to Sessions, at least four people have so far been arrested and charged with "unlawfully disclosing" confidential information or concealing contacts with federal officers.

The crackdown was announced on August 4, a day after The Washington Post published transcripts of conversations between Trump and his Mexican and Australian counterparts.

Experts believe the government’s efforts for indentifying the leakers would take a more aggressive turn under the new White House chief of staff John Kelly, who replaced Reince Priebus in late July.

White House aide Sebastian Gorka warned West Wing staff last week that Kelly was not a man they wanted to “toy with.”

"He will get to the bottom of the leaks," Gorka said in a Fox News interview.

Some unnamed officials have suggested that there could be lie detector tests for those people in the West Wing and elsewhere who have access to transcripts of Trump's phone calls.

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