House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi fired back at Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain for claiming that the “highest levels” of the Obama administration leaked sensitive national security information regarding a potential cyber attack on Iran.
“The fact that this administration would aggressively pursue leaks by a 22-year-old Army private in the Wikileaks matter and former CIA employees in other leaks cases, but apparently sanction leaks made by senior administration officials for political purposes is simply unacceptable,” McCain said on Wednesday.
The former presidential candidate also said this is “the most highly classified information and it’s now been leaked by the administration at the highest levels at the White House and that’s not acceptable.”
Pelosi was asked to weigh in on McCain’s statement at her weekly press briefing.
“With all due respect to Senator McCain, for anybody to say that a leak — and I don’t care if — party one way or another — that an intelligence leak is politically motivated is really, a really sad statement. Of course, there wouldn’t, you know, there shouldn’t be leaks,” Pelosi said at the Capitol Thursday.
“If there’s an accidental leak — and by the way, we had an investigation which found that Republican senators were the source of the leaks many years ago, probably accidentally, unwittingly, but nonetheless, that was the source. So to say that an intelligence leak which undermines the national security of our country is something that’s politically motivated, well, I just don’t — I just can’t agree with that.”
Pelosi also said, “Loose lips sink ships – that was the sign that was up in the Intelligence Committee all the time and our national security depends on our having good intelligence and not having that leaked.”
House Speaker John Boehner said the White House could learn from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates when handling leaks.
“I think the administration should heed the advice of former Defense Security Bob Gates when after the bin Laden raid and a lot of details were coming out he promptly went over to the White House and used some colorful language to try to stop any more leaks from occurring,” said Boehner.