During Monday’s press briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters to “look around the room” if they wanted to identify people who release sensitive classified information. Sanders’ slam against the media came as she was defending the interim security clearance enjoyed by former White House aide Rob Porter.
Porter resigned last week, after he was publicly accused of domestic abuse. Reporters were concerned about Porter’s access to secure information, considering there were ongoing issues with his background check.
In her simple and sassy style, Sanders responded to reporters concerns, saying: “I think we’re doing every step we can to protect classified information. If you guys have real concerns about leaking classified information, look around the room.”
She continued: “If anyone is publishing, or putting out publicly, classified information, it’s members of the press.”
Sanders went on to say that the media has “leaked” classified information repeatedly, using Capitol Hill sources, which has “put national security at risk.”
Regarding the background check for Porter, Sanders said: “This is a process that doesn’t operate within the White House. It is handled by our law enforcement and intelligence community.”
“I do think that it’s up to those same law enforcement and intelligence agencies to determine if changes need to be made to their process,” she added.