The Biden White House is again under fire following recent leaks of highly classified defense material on social media. The leaks have prompted tough questioning of National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, whose answers did not satisfy many, including former Trump White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.
The leaked documents, which first surfaced in the New York Times on Friday, reportedly contain sensitive intelligence on China, the Middle East, Israel’s Mossad spy agency, and U.S. support for Ukraine’s military. In response to the situation, Conway criticized Kirby, stating that he “seemed worried, like somebody who doesn’t have the answers that we all seek and deserve.”
White House torched over Pentagon leaks as Biden, Democrats condemn Trump's Mar-a-Lago finds https://t.co/tx0mqfeuAb
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The situation has brought about accusations of hypocrisy, as the Biden administration and Democrats have condemned former President Donald Trump for the discovery of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence. Conway said, “This is an administration and a party that’s been going after the former president, and we have leaks of classified documents as we speak that affect countries, allies and others around the globe.”
Kirby was also asked about President Biden’s upcoming trip to Northern Ireland and whether they have notified allies mentioned in the leaked documents. Conway noted that Kirby’s answers indicated that they did not have more information than the general public.
The leaked documents present a “very serious” risk to national security, according to Chris Meagher, assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs. He said that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been in touch with allies, held daily meetings to assess the damage, and set up a group to determine the scope of the information lost and review who has access to classified briefings.
In the meantime, the White House has expressed concerns over the possibility of additional leaks. Kirby admitted, “We don’t know, and is that a matter of concern to us? You’re darn right it is.”
While U.S. authorities continue to review the leaked documents, they have found that some have been doctored. As a result, the State Department, through spokesman Vedant Patel, has been engaging with allies and partners at high levels to reassure them of the U.S. commitment to safeguarding intelligence and the fidelity of securing their partnerships.
With the Justice Department having opened a criminal investigation into the leaks, the White House and Pentagon are under pressure to respond effectively and prevent further breaches. However, the spotlight on the administration’s perceived hypocrisy and struggle to control sensitive information is not going away anytime soon.