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ABC Highlights Dems Charging Obama Admin Leaked National Security Secrets

Media Research CenterUniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, ABC's World News on Thursday ran a report which informed viewers that Democrats in Congress have joined Republicans in accusing the Obama administration of leaking classified information, jeopardizing the country's ability to recruit spies in other countries to help the U.S. in the future.

Host Diane Sawyer introduced the report by suggesting that administration officials have leaked sensitive information to benefit President Obama politically, noting that Democrats have weighed in against the White House as well:

We turn now from Syria to the heart of the nation's capital and a firestorm today as Republicans claim the White House has been leaking national security secrets to the press to make President Obama look good. But Democrats joined Republicans in saying, "Enough, these leaks must stop."

After noting several examples of leaked information, correspondent Jonathan Karl recounted:

Some of the leaks are already under investigation by the FBI. And today, U.S. officials told ABC News the Director of National Intelligence is now doing more lie detector tests of people with access to classified information. Republicans say the leaking is politically motivated and possibly criminal.

After an exchange between Karl and Senator Lindsey Graham in which the South Carolina Republican asserted that the leaks are "coming right from the White House," and that there should be "prosecutions," then came a clip of Arizona Senator John McCain:

Regardless of how politically useful these leaks may have been to the President, they have to stop. These leaks have to stop.

Karl then turned to congressional Democrats joining Republicans against the White House:

JONATHAN KARL: And today, top Democrats on the congressional intelligence committees joined Republicans in denouncing the leaks.

SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): This has to stop. When people say, they don't want to work with the United States because they can't trust us to keep a secret, that's serious.

REP. DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER (D-MD): It puts us at risk. It puts lives at risk.

Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Thursday, June 7, World News on ABC:

DIANE SAWYER: We turn now from Syria to the heart of the nation's capital and a firestorm today as Republicans claim the White House has been leaking national security secrets to the press to make President Obama look good. But Democrats joined Republicans in saying, "Enough, these leaks must stop." And here's ABC's Jon Karl on it all.

JONATHAN KARL: The stories depicted a decisive President and are chock-full of classified intelligence. The secret U.S. cyber attack on Iran's nuclear program. The double agent who helped foil an al-Qaeda attack. The secret terrorist kill list maintained by the President. Some of the leaks are already under investigation by the FBI. And today, U.S. officials told ABC News the Director of National Intelligence is now doing more lie detector tests of people with access to classified information. Republicans say the leaking is politically motivated and possibly criminal. You think it's coming right from the White House?

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC) CLIP #1: Yes, I do.

GRAHAM CLIP #2: To say otherwise just defies credibility. Three stories within 30 days painting a picture of a strong President.

KARL: Should there be prosecutions here?

GRAHAM: Absolutely.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): Regardless of how politically useful these leaks may have been to the President, they have to stop. These leaks have to stop.

KARL: And today, top Democrats on the congressional intelligence committees joined Republicans in denouncing the leaks.

SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): This has to stop. When people say, they don't want to work with the United States because they can't trust us to keep a secret, that's serious.

REP. DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER (D-MD): It puts us at risk. It puts lives at risk.

KARL: Next up, congressional hearings with tough questions for the administration. Today, an Obama administration spokesman said they take all necessary and appropriate steps to prevent the leaking of classified information, and that any suggestion that they've leaked sensitive information for political purposes has no basis in fact and has been denied by the authors themselves.

-- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center