In light of a leak of classified documents from the Pentagon, the White House said Monday that journalists should not report on leaked documents because it's irresponsible.
Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council John Kirby said during a briefing that the documents were not intended for "public consumption."
“Without confirming the validity of the documents, this is information that has no business in the public domain,” he scolded.
“It has no business — if you don’t mind me saying — on the front pages of newspapers or on television,” he added. “It is not intended for public consumption and it should not be out there.”
John Kirby warns journalists not to report on leaked Pentagon documents.
"This is information that has no business in the public domain...It has no business...on the front pages of newspapers or on television." pic.twitter.com/625CxNIarI
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) April 10, 2023
The government is still trying to figure out how to respond to the leak, which may be the largest one since the Edward Snowden leak.
The documents appear to show secret details about China, Russia, and Ukraine.
A defense official told The Washington Post that most of the documents seemed to have been prepared for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and other top defense officials, but there are plenty of officials who could have had access to them with the proper clearance.
Kirby said the agency does not know where the leak came from and has opened a criminal investigation into the matter.
To reporters that asked whether the leak is contained or if there could be more documents out there that pose a further threat, Kirby said, "We truly don't know."
Q: "Do you believe the leak is contained? Are there more documents out there that have not been released publicly? Is this an ongoing threat?"
NSC Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby: "We don't know. We truly don't know." pic.twitter.com/QpPYXZyexS
— CSPAN (@cspan) April 10, 2023
He did say that Biden has been briefed on the situation.
The problems surrounding classified documents add to the Biden administration's woes surrounding classified information, after it was leaked in March that Biden had classified documents in his possession from his days as vice president, which is illegal.
The repeated issues make the administration look sloppy or sneaky--in other words, inept or downright corrupt.