They have every right to be furious

And despite being told to stop, they’re still doing it.

US officials disclosed fresh details of the investigation into the Manchesterbombing to journalists within hours of Amber Rudd warning them to stop the leaking.

The steady drip of details from the US – as well as from France – is hampering the investigation by British police, who are trying to control the release of information for operational reasons.

The home secretary reflected the frustration and dismay of the UK security services in a series of interviews on Wednesday morning. She described the leaks as “irritating” and said she had made it clear to the US that it should not happen again.

However, within hours, American reporter Richard Engel of NBC tweeted details not released by the UK.

Imagine the reaction here if the UK intelligence people did that to us.

The intelligence community has long been uncomfortable about revelations from its recent past made in books and articles, but the release of details of a live investigation on the scale of those by the US and France is a relatively new phenomenon.

It comes on top of Donald Trump’s release of intelligence to Russia that had been passed on by Israel, which had obtained it from an Arab country.

The leak of the British information, as well as demonstrating a lack of respect for a US ally at an emotional time, will have hindered the investigation, where it is essential to control the release of details.

Hindering the investigation is surely in no one’s interest.

Anger about the extent of the leaks is not confined to the UK. Senior members of the US Congress also expressed concern.

The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Adam Schiff, said he did not know the source but insisted it was not from Congress, as members and their staffs had not been briefed.

Schiff, who is a driving force behind the congressional investigation into the Trump campaign’s links with Russia, said: “We should have been very careful and respectful of the British investigation and the timing which the British felt was in their investigative interests in releasing that. That should have been their discretion not ours. If that is something we did, I think that’s a real problem.”

The UK intelligence agencies, he said, would have passed on information about the bomber and possible associates to see if the US had any further intelligence on them.

“If we gave up information that has interfered in any way with their investigation because it tipped off people in Britain, perhaps associates of this person that we had identified as the bomber, that’s a real problem and they have every right to be furious.”

Chris Coons, a Democratic member of the Senate foreign affairs committee, said questions were being raised about whether the Trump administration understood what it meant to treat highly classified intelligence responsibly.

He told MSNBC: “Our alliance with the people of Great Britain is one of our closest, strongest, oldest – and our prayers are with them, the families who lost loved ones in Manchester … We’ve got a very close intelligence and defence partnership with the UK and that news is troubling and it suggests that we have even more close allies who are questioning whether we can be trusted with vital intelligence.

“This is a key part of what keeps us safe, a global network of allies with whom we share intelligence and strategic and planning and defence resources … I am hearing real questions raised about whether this administration, in particular President Trump, understands what it means to treat highly classified intelligence carefully and responsibly.”

He’s draining the swamp.

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