Amid revelations that the Justice Department monitored both Associated Press journalists and Fox News’ James Rosen, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, a former reporter, was asked Tuesday if he had ever received classified information when writing about the inner workings of government.
“It’s not about me,” Carney replied during the daily briefing with the White House press corps.
Speaking more broadly, Carney explained: “There are secrets, there is classified information that needs to be protected. It is certainly the case that leaking of sensitive information that [deals] with secret operations or other sensitive matters can harm our national security and endanger the lives of American men and women.”
Earlier in the briefing, Carney told reporters that he personally discussed with President Obama the balance between protecting a free press and information that would compromise national security. After being hammered by reporters Monday, Carney was forced to clarify that Obama doesn’t believe journalists should be prosecuted for “doing their jobs.”