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Senate Intel Panel Backs Off: Cruz Not Under Investigation

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By    |   Wednesday, 16 December 2015 08:53 PM

The Senate Intelligence Committee put out a one-sentence statement Wednesday denying it is looking into whether Texas Sen. Ted Cruz revealed classified information in Tuesday's GOP presidential debate.

"The Committee is not investigating anything said during last night’s Republican Presidential debate," the statement read.

Foreign Policy's John Hudson called it "an awkward about-face."




Earlier Wednesday, North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr, the committee's chairman, said his staff was looking at transcripts of the debate to see whether Cruz had revealed classified information.  

It appears that the classified information was the amount of metadata being collected by the National Security Agency in its efforts to monitor potential terrorists.

During a joust with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Cruz said, "What he knows is that the old program covered 20 percent to 30 percent of phone numbers to search for terrorists. The new program covers nearly 100 percent."

Rubio immediately responded "I don't think national television in front of 15 million people is the place to discuss classified information."

Burr hinted Wednesday morning that if Cruz discussed specific numbers that might well have been a breach of classified information if the information was not already publicly available elsewhere.

A Cruz campaign spokeswoman said it was, according to the New York Daily News. She pointed reporters to Washington Post and Wall Street Journal articles from 2014 that mentioned the "20 percent to 30 percent" figures.

And even the liberal Mother Jones said that even if Cruz leaked classified information, it already had been leaked by former NSA and CIA chief Michael Hayden.

On a March 30, 2014 episode of "Face the Nation" Hayden told host Bob Schieffer that former CIA Director Michael Morell's "panel pointed out that they're only getting about a third, if that, just because of changes in technology. The NSA gets to query the data… in an exhaustive way, not that one-third they've formerly gotten."

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The Senate Intelligence Committee put out a one-sentence statement Wednesday denying it is looking into whether Texas Sen. Ted Cruz revealed classified information in Tuesday's GOP presidential debate.
senate, intelligence, committee, not, investigating, ted cruz, debate
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Wednesday, 16 December 2015 08:53 PM
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