McCain: Security leaks came from 'highest levels of White House'

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

A day after accusing the White House of trying to burnish its image with recent stories about a secret kill list for terrorists and efforts to use cyberattacks against Iran, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., continued his attacks on Wednesday, saying the leaks came from “the highest levels of the White House.”

Appearing on CBS’s This Morning, McCain, the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that the administration should not have confirmed facts for reporters. “All they had to do was say, this is classified information and we won't discuss it.”

“This is the most highly classified information and has now been leaked by the administration at the highest levels of the White House. That's not acceptable,” he said, adding that, “Look, this puts American lives in danger, revealing our most highly classified operations, both in cyberwar and in drones. That's just a fact.”

McCain on Tuesday called the leaks “an intentional breach” that were meant to “paint a portrait of the President of the United States as a strong leader on national security issues.”

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Carl Levin, D-Mich., who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the panel would hold hearings to investigate leaks “pertaining to recent public reports of classified information.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney denied the Iran cyberattack story, first published by The New York Times, was the result of an intentional leak. The Times also broke the story about the secret terror "kill list."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.