Obama says "no apologies" over U.S. security leak probe

WASHINGTON Thu May 16, 2013 1:54pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the White House Rose Garden in Washington, May 16, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the White House Rose Garden in Washington, May 16, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Thursday he makes "no apologies" for his concern about leaks to the media that could compromise U.S. national security or put American military and intelligence officers at risk.

Obama expressed complete confidence in Attorney General Eric Holder and declined to comment on the Justice Department's seizure of Associated Press phone records, part of a probe into media leaks about a Yemen-based plot to bomb a U.S. airliner.

"Leaks related to national security can put people at risk," Obama said at a news conference.

"And so I make no apologies, and I don't think the American people would expect me, as commander in chief, not to be concerned about information that might compromise their missions or might get them killed," Obama said.

But he expressed support for the revival of a media shield law that he said would balance the need to protect press freedoms with national security concerns.

"To the extent this case has prompted renewed interest about how do we strike that balance properly - and I think now's the time for us to go ahead and revisit that legislation," Obama said.

(Additional reporting by Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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Comments (18)
jaham wrote:
So, Obama at once has “no apologies” for the probe, yet also urged Congress to pass a law protecting journalists from such actions?

Can ones position on a given issue possibly be any more incongruous?

May 16, 2013 1:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:
Turning on the AP will not go well for you Mr. President. They basically helped you get elected twice.

May 16, 2013 1:50pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SKYDRIFTER wrote:
1. Holder IS the FBI. He had no basis to recuse himself – if he did – from the “Subpoena-Gate” effort.

2. There still is no suggestion as to what ‘crime,’ if any, was concerned with “Subpoena-Gate” – nor the magnitude which Holder panders.

3. His second-in-command is up to his ears with past corruption allegations; Holder is, by definition, protecting him; and vice versa.

4. Previously held in Contempt of Congress, Holder’s office (DOJ) refused to charge him.

The nightmare in plain sight of America and the entire world is that Obama shows no fear or concern. That’s not a President; that’s a tyrant!

May 16, 2013 2:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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