Media, Liberals Suddenly Show Concern with Classified Leaks

CNN pundits feign outrage over Trump retweet of news story on North Korean missile movements

President Donald Trump on Tuesday retweeted a Fox News story allegedly containing classified information about North Korea, and it sent CNN into a tizzy.

The cable network, which has thrived on publishing one damaging anonymous story after another about the current administration, spent multiple segments discussing the Trump tweet.

“Now notably, we don’t have that reporting,” anchor Poppy Harlow told viewers. “It’s also notable that this report contained classified information, two unnamed sources. Of course, the president has railed against unnamed sources.”

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Added CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr: “It’s hard to see how it’s not leaking by the president on his Twitter account of a leak of classified information.”

The Fox story, citing unnamed sources, reported that U.S. spy satellites have detected North Korea loading two anti-ship cruise missiles on a patrol boat. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday that she could not talk about the story because it was classified.

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Harlow and other CNN hosts cried hypocrisy by the president.

But Rich Noyes, director of research at the Media Research Center, said CNN is playing a “fairly cheap game of gotcha.” He suggested it is disingenuous for a news operation to complain about disclosure of classified information after so eagerly reporting arguably far more damaging classified information month after month.

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“CNN thinks it caught Trump in a contradiction … But CNN is catching themselves in a contradiction,” he said. “They can’t have it both ways, either.”

Still, CNN paraded a lineup of progressive politicians to condemn Trump.

Former U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson: “He shouldn’t be doing that. Even though a president could declassify, you don’t want to put that out if you’re the commander-in-chief.”

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.): “It is alarming the casualness with which the president shares classified information. Earlier this year, he gave classified information to the Russians. And now he retweets an article with classified information.”

The reference to the Russians is particularly ironic because the revelation, itself, became public through an illegal leak of classified information. It refers to reports that Trump shared intelligence about Syria with Russian officials.

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Lieu said he learned when he obtained a security clearance in the military that classified information should not be discussed even if appears in the media because it remains classified nonetheless. But he was not nearly so reticent when former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned after anonymously sourced media reports revealed information from U.S. surveillance that he had met with Russian officials during the transition period before Trump took office.

In fact, Lieu was downright praiseful of the leak.

“Let’s be clear: Michael Flynn resigned because the press brought his egregious misconduct to the attention of the American people,” he said in a statement released by his office at the time. “Our Republic depends on the Freedom of the Press.”

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