Policy & Strategy

Feinstein: Someone at White House is behind recent intel leaks

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Monday that someone at the White House was responsible for the recent leaks of classified information.

“I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks,” Feinstein said in an address at the World Affairs Council, The Associated Press first reported.

Feinstein said she was certain that President Obama had not disclosed any of the classified intelligence, but believed others in the administration were responsible.

{mosads}“I don’t believe for a moment that he goes out and talks about it,” she said of the president.

Last month, reports in the press detailing a U.S. cyberattack against Iran and an administration terrorist “kill list” provoked outrage on Capitol Hill and led to bipartisan calls for an investigation into the disclosures.

Senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod has denied that the leaks came from sources in the White House. 

“The authors of all of this work have said that the White House was not the source of this information. I can’t say that there weren’t leaks. There were obvious leaks, but they weren’t from the White House,” he said in an interview with ABC in early June.

Attorney General Eric Holder has appointed two U.S. attorneys to probe the leaks, but Republicans have continued calling for a special counsel, suggesting that the disclosures were made to aid the president politically.

Feinstein and other Democrats, though, have backed the DOJ investigation and maintain it will be fair and independent. 

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper responded quickly to the congressional backlash, announcing last month that he would institute new steps to cut down on future leaks, including polygraph questions asking if employees leaked information to media members and a review of policies governing contacts between the press and members of the intelligence community.

Lawmakers have vowed to draft laws of their own to address the problem if they are unsatisfied with the response from the administration. 

Reports said last week Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey testified before the House Armed Services Committee in a closed-door hearing. 

Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said after the session that he was “pretty secure” that the leaks had not originated at the Defense Department. 

Tags Dianne Feinstein Eric Holder

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