(National Sentinel) Turnabout: White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took the Beltway media to task on Monday for their frequent publication of classified materials that she said “put(s) national security at risk.”
Sanders was fielding a number of questions about Rob Porter, the former White House staff secretary who was forced to resign last week over allegations of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives — allegations he has denied.
Reporters were concerned because Porter held an interim security clearance, causing some of them to question the White House’s vetting procedures.
“Can you guarantee that you are protecting classified information given that you have someone like Rob Porter who didn’t have a permanent security clearance to access classified information?” a reporter asked Sanders.
The administration spokeswoman then turned the issue back on the roomful of reporters.
“I think we’re doing and taking every step we can to protect classified information,” she began. “I mean, frankly, if you guys have such concern with classified information, there’s plenty of it that’s leaked out of the Hill, that’s leaked out of other communities well beyond the White House walls.”
If reporters really were concerned about leaks of classified information, Sanders noted, all they needed to do was to take a look around.
“If you guys have real concerns about leaking out classified information, look around this room,” she said. “You guys are the ones that publish classified information and put national security at risk.
“That doesn’t come from this White House,” she added.
The media pressed on, but Sanders stood her ground. “We take every precaution possible to protect classified information and certainly to protect national security,” she said. “It’s the president’s number-one priority, is protecting the citizens of this country. It’s why we spend every single day doing everything we can to do that.”
“And I think if anyone is publishing or putting out, publicly, classified information, it’s members of the press, not the White House,” she said, noting that the process for vetting individuals for security clearances is not done by the White House.
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