US President Donald Trump on Friday urged his attorney general to investigate the anonymous author of a damning op-ed, escalating his long-running battles with both the media and leaks from the White House.
The President said he finds the ordeal unsettling, primarily because the author could have a security clearance and has access to "high level national security" meetings.
While some conservative Trump allies on Capitol Hill have said they want to help the president identify the writer, Speaker Paul D. Ryan, said Thursday he is unaware of any role to that end that lawmakers could or should play.
"I think it is national security. And, I would say, including the political people, because some political people knew about this as well".
He said he was "looking" at whether the paper itself should face action.
‘Have killed, are killing, will kill terrorists in Syria’: Russia
Iranian television reported that the three leaders would each have "bilateral meetings" on the sidelines of the main summit. They destroyed one Ahrar al-Sham post , killing one of its fighters and wounding 14 others in the area of Hobait, it said.
Trump had threatened to sue the Times when he was running for president in October 2016 because of its story about allegations of sexual assault against women.
The book depicts Trump aides working to head off potential foreign policy disasters, disregarding a call by the president for the assassination of his Syrian counterpart, and removing from his desk an order that would have canceled a US-South Korea trade agreement.
The entertainer's commentary came one day after a senior administration official claimed that members of a "resistance" are "working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations".
Mr Trump's call on Mr Sessions is an extraordinary step because the justice department, which is meant to act independently, does not usually investigate press leaks unless classified information is disclosed.
"Our libel laws are pathetic", he said.
He earlier demanded the "New York Times" reveals the author's identity to the government, and followed up with a one word tweet: "Treason".
"No, Dir. Mulvaney is not the author", a spokesperson for Mulvaney told NBC News.
According to a Times memo, the extra security is a reaction to "the heightened nature of the attention we are receiving right now".