New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte said President Barack Obama is acting hypocritically by not supporting an independent special counsel to investigate the recent spat of national security leaks.
“Let’s go back to the Valerie Plame investigation,” Ayotte said in an extensive interview with The Daily Caller in her Capitol Hill office.
“I find it somewhat hypocritical that the president, then Sen. Obama at the time, called very strenuously for an independent special counsel in the Valerie Plame investigation, as did then Sen. Biden, who is now vice president of the United States. They should be the first wanting to treat this situation with the gravity that really presents itself in what’s at stake. So I would say we should have an independent special counsel with full authority to pursue this case, to get to the bottom of it, to find the truth and to hold those accountable who have made these leaks that could undermine our national security.”
Several intelligence leaks dealing with America’s efforts to hamper Iran’s nuclear program and its efforts to hunt down al-Qaida leaders have drawn scrutiny from Capitol Hill. Republicans such as Arizona Sen. John McCain have accused Obama administration officials of leaking the classified information in order to boost President Obama politically. The Department of Justice is launching an investigation into the leaks, though Republicans have demanded that the DOJ appoint an independent counsel.
Ayotte also insisted that the president get tougher with Russia for their role arming Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
“We do have to get tough with Russia,” she said.
“I know the president is scheduled to meet next week with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and I hope he takes a very tough line with Putin and let’s him know we’re not going to accept Russia continuing to provide arms to the Assad regime so it can murder its own people, and that it will undermine our relationship with Russia if they continue to do that.”
During this segment of the interview, Ayotte also discusses U.S. policy toward Iran. In a previous segment, Ayotte addressed the vice presidential speculation surrounding her.
Check back next week to see Ayotte discuss the threat posed by defense sequestration.
Videography by Sean Rainey