Obama denies allegations over White House leaks
Washington: US President Barack Obama has strongly denied the charges by political rivals that the White House purposely leaked classified information for political gains in the election year.
Speaking at a White House news conference, Obama said such allegations were "offensive" and "wrong”, stressing that his attitude "has been zero tolerance for these kinds of leaks and speculation", Xinhua reported.
"We`re dealing with issues that can touch on the safety and security of the American people, our families or our military personnel or our allies, and so we don`t play with that," Obama stated.
The President was reacting to the accusations by Republican lawmakers -- including Senator John McCain, Obama`s former rival in the 2008 Presidential Election -- that the White House leaked intelligence about the US drone raids on terrorists and the US cyber-attack on enemy countries to bolster Obama`s standing on security.
The US Congress has launched investigations into the recent leaks of such classified information, which it believes harm the US war on terrorism and national security.
Dianne Feinstein, the chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and several other bipartisan lawmakers held a meeting on Friday with James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, to discuss the recent leaks.
Such leaks` harm to operations by the US intelligence community was also discussed.
Feinstein said that both the Senate and the House will conduct own probes into the matter before proposing bills to remedy the situation to prevent future leaks of sensitive information related to national security.
One of the proposed measures will be limiting the number of people with access to highly classified information, because currently "so many people know that it becomes very hard to make a prosecution", she said.