White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Tuesday that “rogue intelligence officers” are harming US national security with leaks aga
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Tuesday that “rogue intelligence officers” are harming US national security with leaks against President Trump.
McEnany spoke after Democrats blasted Trump over a report that said he was briefed — but did not act — on intelligence that Russia paid bounties to kill US troops in Afghanistan.
US intelligence leaders deny Trump was briefed and say the information was unconfirmed.
“These are rogue intelligence officers who are imperiling our troops’ lives,” McEnany said at a White House press briefing. “We will not be able to get — very likely not be able to get a consensus on this intelligence because of what was leaked to The New York Times.”
The identity of The Times’ source or sources is the subject of intense speculation and gossip in Washington. If authorities find evidence, they could face a significant prison term.
McEnany offered a message to the person or people responsible. “To the anonymous sources who leaked classified information you should know this: You may seek to undermine our president, but in fact you undermine our country’s safety,” she said.
“Who’s going to want to cooperate with the United States intelligence community? Who’s going to want to be a source or an asset, if they know that their identity could be disclosed?”
On Tuesday, Trump’s presumptive Democratic challenger Joe Biden accused him of a “dereliction of duty” over the alleged Russian bounties.
But McEnany said that The Times was wrong about Trump being briefed before the article was published — and said that Trump “does read” his regular intelligence briefs, implicitly ruling out the possibility he missed the detail through inattention.
“This president, I’ll tell you, is the most informed person on planet Earth when it comes to the threats that we face,” McEnany said.
Members of Congress were briefed this week on the intelligence described in the explosive report. McEnany confirmed that Trump also has been briefed now that the allegation is public.
“Yes he has been briefed, but that does not change the fact that there is no consensus on this intelligence that still has yet to be verified,” she said.