Ousted UK ambassador leaked US intelligence

Leaked U.K. diplomatic cables critical of President Trump have led Britainís ambassador, Sir Kim Darroch, to announce his departure from Washington earlier than expected. But the story is not yet concluded.

According to one current and one former U.S. government official speaking on the condition of anonymity, Darroch repeatedly leaked classified U.S. intelligence information, including highly classified information, to a journalist for a U.S.-based media outlet. The sources are consolidated by the reaction my related inquiries have received from other government officials.

These leaks are unrelated to the diplomatic cables which sparked Trump's anger and Darroch's departure.

Still, one source says that the U.S. government was so alarmed by Darroch's leaks that it launched an official investigation to find the source of the information. That source described the leaked intelligence as ďvery sensitive,Ē and suggested that exigent U.S. security concerns motivated the investigation. That source says that non-U.S. government derived records showed the ambassador and journalist exchanging messages on a continuing basis. The source emphasized that these communications were not derived from U.S. government actions.

A second source, a career government official, described the leaks as "unprecedented."
One of the sources said that the ambassador repeatedly transmitted highly classified U.S. originator-control intelligence information to the journalist. ORCON intelligence, as it's called in the intelligence world, is closely held and carefully distributed. At least some of this information was classified at the "Five Eyes" alliance classification level, meaning it was distributed by the U.S. only to Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand. Some intelligence may also have been classified at the U.S.-U.K. only level. Such intelligence is transmitted only on the condition of established protocols and the assumption it will be closely held.
It's annoymorously sourced, but it's at least plausible. For the sake of context and background, Darroch became UK Ambassador to the US in January, 2016. So if he did leak ultra-sensitive classified information, chances are it was mostly - if not entirely - during Trump's Administration. IF this was the case, his actions could reasonably viewed as attempts to undermine Trump's Administration. Also, IF this all is true, it would be interesting to know how much Trump people knew for how long. It sounds like this could be the reasonable context to what otherwise could be represented as a petulant over-reaction by Trump to Darroch's leaked insulting cables.