Dan Rather: Recent leaks 'a public service'

Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather on Tuesday commended recent leaks to the press, including a climate change report published by The New York Times, calling leaks a "public service" to Americans.

"Obviously President Trump and those in his administration didn't want this information out, but somebody somewhere said the public needs to know this," Rather said on MSNBC's "All in with Chris Hayes."

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Rather pointed to a leaked report published by The New York Times that revealed climate scientists who work for the federal government fear the Trump administration will try to suppress a new study on climate change’s impact on the U.S.

"They did a public service by letting somebody in journalism, in this case, The New York Times, know it," Rather told Hayes.

The study in the leaked document concludes that it is "extremely likely" human influence is a factor in climate change.

“Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are primarily responsible for observed climate changes in the industrial era,” one part of the report reads, according to the Times. “There are no alternative explanations, and no natural cycles are found in the observational record that can explain the observed changes in climate.”

The report comes at a time when the White House is cracking down on leaks, which have become a frequent occurrence. 

Despite the administration's obsession to halt the drip, Rather said sometimes leaks provide important information to the American public that the administration is failing to give.

"Look, news so often is what the public needs to know that someone, particularly someone in power, doesn't want them to know. Everything else is pretty much advertising and propaganda," Rather said in part.

"And it is true that on some rare occasions, very rare occasions, matters of national security are involved, but most of the time, leaks and whistleblowers don't want to be identified, they feel so strongly about something that the public has to know had."