The Energy Department is the latest government agency announcing anti-leak training courses, according to a report Wednesday, just a month after it was leaked that the Trump would require government-wide training regarding protecting classified and controlled classified information.
The course's content is primarily a video that Energy Secretary Rick Perry requested his deputy, Dan Brouillette, to oversee. The video, according to an internal email announcement reported by Wired, is designed to "to strengthen our internal behavior as it pertains to protecting classified and sensitive information. This video also includes a message from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, reminding us all of our responsibilities to protect and the penalties for the unauthorized disclosure of classified and sensitive information."
National security adviser H.R. McMaster sent out a memo on Sept. 8, instructing "every Federal Government department and agency" hold a one-hour training the week of Sept. 18 on "unauthorized disclosures."
The Energy Department did not complete the training in the designated timeframe, however, and staffers will have from Wednesday to Friday to complete the online lesson, an email obtained by Wired shows.
The agency's announcement indicates the Trump administration is fusing leaks of classified information along with standard and legal disclosures by stating classified and controlled classified information in the memo.
However, a DEO official told Wired that punishing all leakers would likely lead to more leaks.
"In any defense or national security role, the guarding of classified or otherwise marked information is held sacred by all those who handle it except a small few who willingly ignore their obligations and open this country up to grave danger and risk," the official told Wired. "By and large, the Trump administration is not talking about these types of documents and information, though, referring rather to the details of meetings and conversations amongst staff or decisions therein which are often in no way classified. ... When we try to institute unnecessary fear of leaking with mandatory trainings, arbitrary limited areas, and an inherent distrust of the civil servants who sign up to serve regardless of political affiliation, it only breeds more distrust of leadership and could foster exactly the culture it was supposedly designed to prevent."
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Health and Human Department services have already conducted their anti-leak courses. The HHS posted part of the video on the department's YouTube account.