Members of Congress should refrain from talking about the photos of a dead Osama bin Laden, the Senate's top Republican said Thursday.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) during an interview refused to say whether he has seen the photos of the al Qaeda leader's body, calling it a sensitive intelligence matter. He also said that too much has been made public about the circumstances of the U.S. raid that killed bin Laden.
Asked by PBS's Jim Lehrer if he had the opportunity to view the photos, McConnell said, "Yes, I don't think we ought to be discussing these kind of confidential matters. And I don't intend to discuss them tonight."
McConnell also said he does not "intend to comment on what I may or may not have seen" in terms of the photos.
The Kentucky senator's comments come in response to the CIA allowing lawmakers to view the photos at the agency's headquarters in Langley, Va.
One member of McConnell's conference, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), went into detail about the photos Thursday during a nationally televised interview.
"I couldn't tell whether the bullet went through the ear and out the eye cavity or came through the eye and out the ear, because a lot of the brains were kind of draped out from the — from the socket," Inhofe told Fox News. "But, clearly, what we saw there was it was him. There's no question that he was dead."
Some lawmakers and administration officials had pressured President Obama to release the photos to the general public, in part to prove to any skeptics that the man responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is indeed dead.
But Obama ultimately declined to release the photos publicly, saying he did not want to "spike the football."
McConnell called the raid an "astonishing success" but said that "frankly — we have said quite enough about what we may or may not have learned in these intelligence briefings over the last few months.
"I think, frankly, more has been said than should be said."