While many critics of the Trump administration have seized on reports that the president failed to act upon learning of intelligence about alleged Russian bounties for the death of U.S. troops, the White House has focused on the fact that the sensitive information was leaked to the press.
In that vein, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien has indicated that the CIA filed a “crimes report” with Attorney General Bill Barr’s Department of Justice (DOJ) requesting an investigation of the criminal leaks that fueled recent media stories, as the Washington Examiner reported.
“These are important allegations”
The revelation came during an impromptu press conference on Monday outside of the White House. There, O’Brien sought to answer reporters’ questions about the allegations and provide some information about who knew what within the administration and when — as well as what was done in response.
“Here’s one of the things that’s a shame about a leak: These are important allegations and if they’re verified I can guarantee you that the president would take action,” O’Brien claimed.
Take a look:
“Another made up by Fake News tale”
O’Brien also said the intelligence community has been “working for several months on options for the president of the United States in the event that this uncorroborated, as the Department of Defense calls it, uncorroborated evidence turned out to be true.”
According to the National Security adviser, however, the fact that information related to the alleged plot has been leaked could hinder the ultimate resolution of the case.
“It may now be impossible to get to the bottom of this because some government official somewhere decided to leak allegations before we had a chance to get to the bottom of it, and we may never get to the truth of the matter now, and that’s really a shame,” he said.
As for the “senior CIA career official” who determined Trump should not be briefed on the matter, O’Brien expressed his support for the decision. He made it clear that the president has now been “fully briefed.”
Trump addressed the developing narrative in a tweet on Monday, claiming that it is “just another made up by Fake News tale” designed to “damage” his administration and the Republican Party, according to NPR.
While the facts remain very much in dispute, O’Brien is focused on one very clear aspect of it all: the leak of sensitive information. No bombshell report is worth putting Americans’ lives at risk.