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US charges government contractor over media leak

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US charges government contractor over media leak

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US President Donald Trump’s administration has made one of its first concrete efforts to crack down on leaks to the media.

The Department of Justice has charged a federal contractor with sending classified information to an unnamed news organisation.

Reality Leigh Winner, 25, is accused of removing the material from a government building in Georgia and is charged with “gathering, transmitting or losing defence information,” NBC reports.

Reuters news agency reports that an hour before the charges were announced, The Intercept had published a top secret NSA document on alleged Russian interference in last year’s American election.

US intelligence agencies claim Moscow attempted to sabotage the November vote to swing it in Trump’s favour and discredit his rival Hillary Clinton.

The FBI and a number of congressional committees are investigating whether or not the president could have colluded with Russian intelligence operatives over the course of the campaign.