Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is calling on Republican Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) to apologize "to the law enforcement community and those that work in this building" for alleging the White House had leaked classified information about its Flight 253 investigation.

None of that information about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's recent cooperation with investigators was classified, Gibbs assured reporters during Thursday's press briefing.


Moreover, the White House only provided the details to clarify findings from this week's much-reported Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, not to score political points as Bond suggested, the press secretary continued.

"And I think anybody that was involved in knowing in the Senate Intelligence Committee what was briefed and what was reported would know that that wasn't violated," Gibbs said.

He later charged Bond of "playing politics" himself, and he implored the senator to apologize immediately.

"I think he owes an apology to the professionals in the law enforcement community and those that work in this building, not for Democrats and Republicans, but who work each and every day to keep the American people safe and would never ever, ever knowingly release or unknowingly release classified information that could endanger an operation or an interrogation," Gibbs said.

The spat between the White House and Sen. Bond follows news from this week's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing that Abdulmutallab was cooperating with investigators, now that he has spoken with his family.

In a letter to Obama Thursday, Bond said he was deeply disturbed by the administration's recent disclosure that the Christmas Day bomber was again providing critical information to interrogators.

He said the FBI informed the leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee Monday afternoon about Abdulmutallab’s recent willingness to talk to investigators and stressed the importance of not disclosing his cooperation “in order to protect ongoing and follow-on operations to neutralize additional threats to the American public,” Bond wrote.

“FBI Director Bob Mueller personally stressed to me that keeping the fact of his cooperation quiet was vital to preventing future attacks against the United States,” Bond said. “Handling this information in such a sensitive manner struck me as entirely appropriate.”

But 24 hours later, the administration leaked it to the media, Bond charged. 

“This information immediately hit the air waves globally and, no doubt, reached the ears of our enemies abroad,” he wrote.

The senator seemed to suggest the move was likely an attempt to tamper criticism of the Justice Department's decision to Mirandize Abdulmutallab and treat him as a criminal, a call Republicans have railed on this month.

Gibbs, however, stressed Thursday that the information was not, in fact, privileged. He fired back at Bond's argument that any protocols were breached, and he took a second shot at the senator for disputing the value of Abdulmutallab's cooperation.

"Why does Senator Bond continue to knowingly not have information curb what he's saying? Or is this a bunch of politics?" Gibbs posited, referencing Bond's assertion that Abdulmutallab has said nothing of use since obtaining a lawyer.

But as Gibbs concluded his briefing, Bond's camp fired yet another shot at the White House. The senator's communications director, Shana Marchio, rebutted Gibbs' claims on Twitter -- and gave no hint her boss would soon apologize for his remarks.

"[C]learly - bottom line, Gibbs wasn't on phone w/Bond and Mueller. And if they do (jkg) they don't work right!," she noted, referencing Bond's assertion that FBI Director Robert Mueller told him the information was classified.