The Trump administration
secretly obtained CNN
's Pentagon correspondent's phone and email records, the news network reported Thursday, providing the latest evidence of the former president's efforts to target journalists who reported government leaks during his tenure
The Justice Department
sought and obtained Barbara Starr
's records for a two-month period between June 1, 2017, and July 31, 2017, according to CNN. The DOJ informed Starr earlier this month that it had targeted her Pentagon extension, the CNN phone booth in the building, her home and cellphones, as well as her personal and professional email accounts.
Starr is a veteran journalist who has been with CNN since 2001. During the time covered by the records seizure, Starr was working on stories about the US military
's options in North Korea
, as well as stories about Syria and Afghanistan
, according to CNN. She was never the subject of an investigation, according to CNN.
It's unclear why her phone and email activity were targeted, but The Washington Post
later reported, citing a Justice Department spokesperson, that the effort to obtain the records was approved in 2020.
“All of CNN will do what we do every day around the world, and the Pentagon
Press Corps will do the same,” Starr wrote after the revelations were published (the messages are now publicly unavailable due to Starr’s account being locked). “We are not leaving, we are not stopping. We are ALL staying and reporting the news.”
CNN President Jeff Zucker condemned the act and stated that the network would immediately request an explanation from the Justice Department.
According to CNN, Zucker said Thursday, “CNN strongly condemns the secret collection of any aspect of a journalist’s correspondence, which is clearly protected by the First Amendment
The report is the most recent to detail former President Donald Trump
's aggressive tactics in punishing anyone responsible for leaks from within his administration.
The Washington Post reported earlier this month that the Justice Department had secretly obtained the phone records of three of its reporters for a three-and-a-half-month period, also in mid-2017, after the journalists had covered the FBI