Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa., said that the intel leaks designed to “politically assassinate” members of the Trump administration concern him more than the stories leaked. President Donald J. Trump fired Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor due to a gradual “erosion of trust” after leaks indicated he misled Vice President Mike Pence relating to calls he had with a Russian ambassador.
“I think what’s most important here is the leaks that are coming out of the intelligence community, that appear to be designed to politically assassinate some of the members of the Trump administration, or at least weaken the Trump administration, and if you cannot trust the intelligence community to maintain classified information that’s protected by law…you’ve got to do something to clean up the intelligence community. That’s what concerns me the most,” Rep. King said on CNN’s “New Day” Wednesday morning.
The president also responded to the leaks Wednesday morning, tweeting that the “real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy.” Democrats have raised the possibility that Gen. Flynn violated the Logan Act, which is factually false. The only crime committed was the leak that led to the revelation, as well as the wire-tapping of Gen. Flynn’s phone call with the Russian ambassador.
“I want to be able to keep national secrets and use them to protect our national security, and when you have a national security adviser who can do that, and do that effectively, then they have to find the people who are working against this administration and they need to be purged from the intelligence community.”
Democrats are also calling for a public hearing on potential ties by members of the Trump Administration to Russian operatives, something the FBI has already probed. Rep. King said much of the information in any probe on the issue would be classified, which is best handled by the intelligence committees.
“And I’m hopeful that it would go all the way back to mid-summer, if it needs to that’s a useful thing to do.”