- Prison inmates take up ‘Knockout’ game, target female officers
- U.S. Army hails success with drone-shooting laser
- John Kerry: Israel-Palestinian peace deal paved for April
- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float as Hawaii health director killed in crash
Plouffe won’t say if Obama will take part in leaks probe
As U.S. Justice Department attorneys probe recent high-level national security leaks from the White House, a top adviser to President Obama on Sunday refused to say whether the commander in chief will answer investigators’ questions.
“An investigation has been announced. Let’s let that proceed,” said White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” adding that he would not comment specifically on the president’s involvement.
Mr. Plouffe did say that “everyone in the administration” will cooperate with the investigative team, comprised of two career attorneys at the Justice Department. It’s their job to find out who leaked a variety of national security secrets to a New York Times reporter, disclosures which led to a series of recent stories.
The leaks included highly classified information on a top-secret “kill list,” assembled by the president’s national security team, of targets for drone strikes.
Some congressional Republicans, along with political pundits, have theorized that the White House authorized the leaks to aid Mr. Obama’s re-election effort by getting his national security record back in the news.
Whether that’s true remains unclear, but either way, the leaks could carry significant risk.
“In my opinion, an enormous amount of damage has been done to our national security,” said Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, also speaking on Fox News.
“There’s a danger that it may legitimize an Iranian or terrorist counter cyberattack on us because we did it,” he said.
Many on Capitol Hill, including Mr. Lieberman, believe the administration should appoint independent prosecutors to look into the matter, rather than rely on investigators who report directly to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.
The White House has thus far flatly rejected those calls.
“The attorney general appointed two U.S. attorneys, and we think that’s a smart move,” said Mr. Plouffe on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He also made the talk show rounds Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” and CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Despite being pressed on the question, Mr. Plouffe wouldn’t say whether the president would agree to one-on-one interviews with the two investigators, as former President George W. Bush did during the probe into the public disclosure of former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.
During that scandal almost decade ago, Mr. Bush also instructed his entire staff to come forward with any information they had about the source of the leak, which turned out to be State Department official Richard Armitage.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.
Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.
He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- High court likely to allow Obama's clean-air rules
- Funding boost of $100M for mentally ill a 'small step'
- White House PR blitz hits states that rejected Medicaid expansion
- Obama tries to calm Israeli fears over Iranian nuke deal 'not based on trust'
Latest Blog Entries
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- U.S. Navy-China showdown: Chinese try to halt U.S. cruiser in international waters
- Obama birther theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- Billy Graham near death, close to going home to be with the Lord
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- North Korea's official report on Jang Song Thaek
- Dr. Ben Carson disavows efforts at presidential draft
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
John Glaser turns his pen toward foreign policy and international relations around the world
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow