On Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders condemned the media’s practice of leaking classified information to the public, claiming such activities are a “risk” for the national security, as per Western Journal.
At the news conference on Monday, Sanders was pressed on former White House staff secretary Rob Porter’s resignation after facing domestic abuse accusations from two of his former wives. Porter has denied all accusations.
“Can you guarantee that you are protecting classified information given that you have someone like Rob Porter who didn’t have a permanent security clearance to access classified information?” Sanders was asked.
Sanders replied by turning the focus back to the media, pointing to reporters who are frequently leaking classified more often than not comes from sources on Capitol Hill.
“I think we’re doing and taking every step we can to protect classified information,” Sanders began. “I mean, frankly, if you guys have such concern with classified information, there’s plenty of it that’s leaked out of the Hill, that’s leaked out of other communities well beyond the White House walls.”
“If you guys have real concerns about leaking out classified information, look around this room,” she said. “You guys are the ones that publish classified information and put national security at risk.”
“That doesn’t come from this White House.”
“We take every precaution possible to protect classified information and certainly to protect national security,” she added. “It’s the president’s number-one priority, is protecting the citizens of this country. It’s why we spend every single day doing everything we can to do that.”
“And I think if anyone is publishing or putting out, publicly, classified information, it’s members of the press, not the White House.”
The press secretary did not elaborate much on the security clearance process for White House staffers but rather cleared out that this process is not handled by the White House itself.
“This is a process that doesn’t operate within the White House,” she said. “It’s handled by our law enforcement and intelligence community. And we support that process. It’s the same process that has been used for decades in previous administrations, and we’re relying on that process at this point.”