Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King took aim at leaks from the intelligence community undermining the Trump administration during an interview Wednesday, saying the individuals behind them need to be located and “purged.”
“We have to find the people that are working against this administration and they need to be purged from this community,” King said on CNN. “We need to find out who the leaking moles are who are violating federal law because we can’t function from a national security standpoint if we have that spillage coming out of the community.”
It’s a federal crime to relay classified information to unauthorized individuals, and Rep. King cited this statute in his interview. This interview comes a day after The New York Times cited several intelligence officials in a report detailing a classified investigation into contacts between associates of President Trump and Russian intelligence officials.
President Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that, “The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy. Very un-American!” The Trump administration has yet to announce an investigation into these leaks, but White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that something like this could very well be underway.
“Telling people what we’re going to do to cover up additional leaks wouldn’t be a very sound strategy when it comes to making sure that that doesn’t happen again. The President has been very clear, whether he’s negotiating or dealing with an issue like this, you don’t telegraph to people how you’re going to handle it,” Spicer said.