(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) John Kirby, the White House coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council, begged journalists not to report on recent classified documents leaked from the Pentagon.
🔎Exclusive / Breaking:
Reports came out a couple of hours ago regarding some leaked documents regarding U.S. battle assessments in #Ukraine.
Here is an image dump of all original documents and there seems to be no edits done to them. They appear to be genuine. pic.twitter.com/Mf5opwZIYJ
— The Cube (@War_cube) April 7, 2023
According to the Daily Wire, Kirby detailed the White House’s response plan to the biggest cybersecurity breach in the U.S. since 2013, whe whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed the secret domestic-surveillance operations being conducted by the National Security Agency.
“Without confirming the validity of the documents, this is information that has no business in the public domain,” Kirby said, responding to questions in a press briefing.
“It has no business—if you don’t mind me saying—on the front pages of newspapers or on television,” he continued. “It is not intended for public consumption and it should not be out there.”
The Department of Defense announced on Sunday that they worked to validate and recover the documents, which contain confidential information about China, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, government surveillance and more.
Security officials worked with allies and Congress to make the announcement and are progressing on finding the culprit.
According to a defense official, Gen. Mark Milley—the retiring chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—and other high-ranking military officials originally requested the compilation of the documents. However, the files were available to many other staff members with the proper security clearance.
The source of the leaked documents remains unknown, although the Associated Press and other outlets reported that the leak was likely to have originated via the social-media platform Discord.
The Department of Justice opened a criminal investigation into the case.
In Monday’s press conference, Kirby said officials know very little at this time but suspected that the source of the leak also tampered with some of the images.
Q: "Do you believe the leak is contained? Are there more documents out there that have not been released publicly? Is this an ongoing threat?"
NSC Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby: "We don't know. We truly don't know." pic.twitter.com/QpPYXZyexS
— CSPAN (@cspan) April 10, 2023
Kirby explained that President Joe Biden was staying up to date on the situation.
The leaked documents show that the Biden administration spied on Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and speculated as to what might happen in the event of his death, even while shoveling more than $100 billion toward the war effort against Russia.
U.S. officials feared that the leaks could jeopardize numerous foreign connections by exposing the degree to which the nation’s intelligence and military agencies spy on their ostensible allies.