During Monday’s White House press conference, the media tried to press White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on the fact that former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter had access to classified information despite the allegations against him.
But it was Sanders who got the upper hand by turning the tables on the real purveyors of leaked classified information – the people sitting right there in that room.
.@PressSec: “If you guys have real concerns about leaking out classified information, look around this room. You guys are the ones that publish classified information, & put national security at risk. That doesn’t come from this @WhiteHouse.” pic.twitter.com/ngCLh19kMZ
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 12, 2018
“Why are high-level aides allowed to work with classified information without appropriate security,” asked a reporter.
“Once again that’s a question for the FBI and other intelligence communities,” said Sanders. “They make that determination. That’s not something that’s decided by the White House.”
Mentioning the Porter situation, the reporter pressed, “Can you guarantee that you are protecting classified information?”
“I think we are taking every step we can to protect classified information,” Sanders said. “I mean frankly, if you guys have real concerns about leaking out classified information, look around this room. You guys are the ones that publish classified information, & put national security at risk. That doesn’t come from this White House.”
Indeed, last August Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that his Justice Department was “pursuing about three times as many leak investigations as were open at the end of the Obama era, a significant devotion of resources to hunt down disclosures that have plagued the Trump administration,” according to the New York Times. The FBI even created a new counterintelligence unit to work these cases.
“I strongly agree with the president and condemn in the strongest terms the staggering number of leaks undermining the ability of our government to protect this country,” Sessions said in August.
And it’s the press that chooses to publish these leaks, time and time again, as Sanders pointed out.
Sanders got plenty of support for her slam against the media.
SLAY QUEEN ???????? https://t.co/tBWymRwsLa
— ????????ErasingBarry???? (@k_ovfefe) February 12, 2018
— Michigan GOP (@MIGOP) February 12, 2018
— ????????♀️????Lady De’Plorable????????????♀️ (@RedWaveRising) February 12, 2018
Kick her ass Sarah!???????? https://t.co/fRAgyPuIZ0
— Michael Clayton (@TheMikeClayton1) February 12, 2018
I just love this woman ???????? https://t.co/iAuNbLGukz
— Irene Almeida (@Pardilho23) February 12, 2018
— Patricia A Day (@patday292) February 13, 2018