Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined the Republican chorus criticizing the White House for its leaks of national security information Wednesday night, saying they were perpetrated to “make the president look good” in an election year.
And Sen. John Cornyn offered his backing Thursday for naming a special counsel to investigate the leaks. They concern drone strikes in Yemen, a list of terrorists targeted for assassination, and cyber-attacks against Iran’s nuclear program, Politico
“I don’t think you have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out what is going on here. You’ve had three leaks of intelligence that paint the president as a strong leader,” Graham told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Wednesday night. “I don’t think it’s an accident that you have three stories within about 45 days that paint the Obama administration as being effective in the war on terror at our national security detriment.”
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., has called for a special counsel investigation into the leaks. The FBI also is reportedly looking into the matter.
Graham said the leaks endanger homeland security and hurt our relations with allies. “These leaks have one common thing — they are painting this president, right before his election, as a strong leader on national security,” he said. “They are doing it in a way that our allies will not help us in the future. They are putting people at risk.”
As for Cornyn, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he told CNN that he doesn’t trust anyone from the Obama administration to conduct an inquiry into the leaks.
“The natural tendency of the administration when it’s the subject of the investigation . . . is to circle the wagons. I don’t believe that Attorney General [Eric] Holder or his deputy are going to be able to do a truly independent investigation.”
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