POLITICS

Feinstein to Obama: National security leaks are coming from the White House

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., confirmed that a recent spate of national security leaks originated in the White House as she called for President Obama to stop the flow of information out of the White House.

“I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from it’s ranks,” Feinstein, the Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman, said yesterday during her address to the World Affairs Council. “I don’t know specifically where, but there — I think they have to begin to understand that and do something about it.”

Feinstein added that “the importance of this has to be really set by the president himself, and hopefully he will do it.”  She explained the real-world consequences of the leaks during her talk. “The human intelligence comes from people, and therefore those people who are called assets for intelligence officers are in danger, and I can tell you without any doubt that with the recent leaks they have been jeopardized,” she said. “I can tell you without any doubt that with the recent leaks, they’ve been jeopardized.”

Feinstein also said that “the importance of this has to be really set by the president himself, and hopefully he will do it.”

She absolved Obama of agency in leaking the information, but indicated that the information originated from a source near him. “I think, you know, what the president actually knows about this is difficult because with respect to intelligence he is in a bubble,” Feinstein said. “He gets a briefing from intelligence. I don’t believe for a moment he goes out and talks about it. I don’t believe the briefers go out and talk about it, but, who knows who else?”

Before Feinstein had concluded her investigation, Obama denied categorically that the leaks had come from the White House. “The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive,” Obama told reporters in June. “It’s wrong.

The president also promised to crack down on the leak sources. “They will suffer consequences,” Obama said in June. “[M]y attitude has been zero tolerance for these kinds of leaks and speculation.”

Based on Feinstein’s comments, ‘zero tolerance’ now means cleaning house.

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