The White House's antagonistic relationship with the media is not only problematic but potentially harmful to America's national security, Washington Post Associate Editor Bob Woodward said.
Speaking on Fox News Sunday's "Panel Plus" online segment,
Woodward said the administration's hostility to journalists could result in newspapers abandoning the practice of alerting the White House to sensitive stories before publishing.
"I think it's a really bad policy and they are hurting themselves," Woodward said. "Since the Pentagon Papers, there's been the rule that if you have some sensitive national-security story, you can go to the government because they can't stop you from publishing."
"If you develop a new, hostile relationship between press and the government, the government is not going to get a say on these things and reporters are going to say 'OK, let's just publish,' and it will wind up harming the national security."
Woodward — who, along with Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate scandal beginning in 1972 that led to President Richard Nixon's 1974 resignation — added that the Snowden leaks have demonstrated just how many people have access to sensitive government information, a situation that needs to be better managed.
"There are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people in the intelligence community and the White House, in the Pentagon, who have truly sensitive information. You've got to have some sort of policy that will try to control it in a rational way. And they [the administration] are taking the road which will ensure more leaks," Woodward said.
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