Former Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod says he finds the Justice Department's probe of a Fox News reporter "disturbing."
Speaking Tuesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe,"
Axelrod also chastised the department's decision to label Fox's chief Washington correspondent James Rosen as a criminal co-conspirator in its investigation of a national security leak.
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"I do think there are real issues regarding the relationship with the media on this leak matter," said Axelrod, adding, "The notion of naming a journalist as a co-conspirator for receiving information is something that I find very disturbing."
He continued, "We have to figure out ... how we deal with national security leaks and how we protect the freedom of the press and the freedom of reporters to operate. And certainly this Rosen case raises some very disturbing issues."
The Justice Department reportedly seized Rosen's personal email and used other surveillance methods to determine whether he was complicit in a State Department leak of information he included in a story saying U.S intelligence officials believed North Korea would likely test more nuclear weapons if the U.N. imposed new sanctions.
Federal authorities say Rosen may have acted as "an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator" in the leak.
"I don't think reporters should be considered criminals for doing their jobs, and it's the job of reporters to uncover fact," Axelrod said.
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