A former CIA analyst and retired lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves said Wednesday he believes Obama administration officials were responsible for leaking former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s intercepted phone calls with Russian officials to the media.
In an appearance on Fox Business Network, Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer charged that Obama officials were “absolutely” behind the leaking of top secret information.
“I put this right at the feet of (former CIA Director) John Brennan and (former Director of National Intelligence) Jim Clapper, and I would even go so far as to say that the White House was directly involved before they left,” Shaffer said. He also named former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes as a possible leaker.
“Let’s be clear on this: I’ve watched this very carefully, the coverage, and when you have NBC reporting that they’ve talked to six officials who have seen the transcript, someone is basically giving away both sensitive methods, the fact that they were reading a communication that was intercepted by sensitive methods, and more importantly, that they’re saying that they saw this information, which was beyond top secret,” he continued.
“Clearly, someone had to have access to that, and that is a key issue.”
President Trump wrote on Twitter Wednesday that the “real story” in the Flynn situation was the the “illegal leaks.”
The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2017
While one doesn’t want to minimize the fact that Flynn wasn’t entirely forthcoming about the administration about the calls, the leaking of top-secret information is an element that remained virtually unexplored by the media until the administration brought it up.
Indeed, a report from Fox News indicates that President Trump wasn’t made aware of the calls until at least six days into his presidency, long after intelligence officials had the intercepts. If this was an issue of urgency, surely the Obama administration would have gone to President-elect Trump when the calls were intercepted and informed him of the details. Instead, all indications are they went to the media instead.
We don’t wish to defend Michael Flynn’s actions in this case, and his resignation was certainly called for. That being said, this whole story is being oversold by a media that doesn’t seem to realize the importance of the fact that this entire thing is based on leaked information of a highly-sensitive nature — almost certainly a national security offense.
And who leaked that information? We’ll get a better idea in the coming days, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a registered Republican.
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