CNN’s Erin Burnett might wish she hadn’t asked the question that she did or invited Congressman Trey Gowdy onto her program at all. He’s upset and has every right to be, over the leaking of classified information that he promised those testifying would remain confidential, as classified information is intended to remain.
The interview starts off with the inopportune words of one who puts a gotcha story above all else, including national security or what’s right or wrong, “What did you find out?,” asked of a Congressman who was hearing classified testimony. What she didn’t know at the time but was about to learn is that she had just firmly planted both of her muck-encrusted feet into her mouth and it was going to be a while before she was able to work them free.
Gowdy said, with the anger discernible in his voice, “About 8 hours ago Adam Schiff (D-CA) and I looked Dan Coats [DNI] in the eyes and we assured him that there would be no selective leaking of his testimony to us. And I’ll be damned if eight hours later, there aren’t three different leaks with what he told us. So if anyone is questioning why Congressional investigations aren’t taken seriously and are viewed as political exercises, you need look no further than the fact that we looked one of our intelligence officials in the eyes and promised him there would be no selective leaking and here I am being asked about it not even eight hours later.”
Burnett, whose CNN network is one of the chief offenders broadcasting the secrets and with at least three people who took credit earlier for obtaining the classified information they leaked has the gall to ask, “So Congressman, who leaked it? Was it Coats, was it Schiff? Was there anyone else in the room than the three of you?”
He says, “Oh no, there were eight people in the room. I can tell you who it was not. It was not me and I do not believe it was Adam Schiff. He’s a former federal prosecutor who knows that leaks undercut the efficacy and integrity of investigations. I can’t tell you who it is but I can tell you this. You’re going to have a chilling effect on other witnesses who want to share classified, sensitive information when it makes its way to the headlines before the transcript’s even dry.
Odds are he’s got a good idea who the leaker is but can’t say. Unlike some folks, Gowdy knows how and when to keep his mouth shut.
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