Obama insists WikiLeaks didn’t reveal anything that wasn’t already known

Obama acknowledged Tuesday he is concerned about the “substantial” leak of more than 93,000 sensitive documents on the site Wikileaks.org, but he said the information “doesn’t reveal any issues that haven’t already informed our debate on Afghanistan.”

Without naming any names, Obama blamed the bad policies outlined in the leaked documents on the previous administration, noting the documents predate his new strategy announced in early December 2009.

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In comments from the Rose Garden, the president said the United States now has the right strategy in the region, and Congress needs to act to provide the funds to “see that strategy through.”

Obama’s remarks followed a meeting with Senate and House leaders from both parties and were preceded by a 20-minute Oval Office huddle with Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and legislative director Phil Schiliro.

Obama said he pressed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) to support and pass the war supplemental act, which has already passed the Senate unanimously. The House is to take up the Senate’s bill as soon as Tuesday.

The meeting with House and Senate leaders comes days before the House leaves for the August recess and less than 100 days before the midterm elections. Obama pleaded with Congress to ignore the “noise and the chatter” of the campaign season and focus on the legislative priorities the American people elected them to act upon.

The president voiced his tepid support for energy legislation the Senate will soon take up, even though it does not include provisions clamping down on carbon emissions.

“That legislation is an important step in the right direction,” Obama said. “But I want to emphasize it’s only the first step.”

He said he would “keep pushing” for more comprehensive energy legislation that deals with climate change.

The president also asked Congress to act on the small-business tax cuts package Senate Democrats have unveiled, saying such “commonsense steps” should be taken so small businesses are not “held hostage by partisan politics.”

One Republican aide said that in the meeting, Obama and lawmakers did not discuss any new ground, and Republicans and Democrats largely appeared to be at an impasse over the Democrats' remaining legislative agenda.