Rep. Maxine Waters told the ladies of ABC’s “The View” on Friday that she was “so glad” when specifically asked about illegal leaks that put U.S. national security at risk.
Co-host Joy Behar laughed and a studio audience burst into cheers as one President Trump’s most strident critics in Congress said that White House leaks bring her a sense of joy — even if it threatens national security. The exchange came as co-host Paula Faris expressed concern over the president’s ability to govern if private conversations with world leaders are regularly leaked.
“The Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, he just delivered a briefing today about cracking down on this,” Ms. Faris said. “We have to be bothered by these phone conversations, these confidential conversations that he had with Mexico and Australia that were just illegally leaked to The Washington Post. There are a lot of Democrats who are disturbed by this because it threatens our national security. Are you disturbed by it?”
“No, not at all,” the California Democrat responded. “I am so glad they’re telling us what’s going on. […] I need to hear these conversations. Unfortunately, this is his problem.”
Ms. Faris countered that world leaders will be reluctant to speak with Mr. Trump if they know that anything they say may wind up in major U.S. newspapers.
“It’s a scary thing to try to undermine the president because you don’t like his policy and don’t trust him — and risk undermining the entire country in the process,” added co-host Jedediah Bila.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, joined by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, told reporters on Friday that the White House is reviewing policies for holding leakers responsible for their actions.
“No one is entitled to surreptitiously fight their battles in the media by revealing sensitive government information,” Mr. Sessions said. “No government can be effective when its leaders cannot discuss sensitive matters in confidence or to talk freely in confidence with foreign leaders.”