Fox News Tweeted out that North Korea had been seen on satellite imagery moving missiles to a patrol boat, then President Trump RE-Tweeted it. He has since been criticized by a number of opposition politicians and news media outlets. They claim that RE-Tweeting classified information was “wrong” even if it was already in the public domain.
Yet, in the CNN article, they TOO displayed the aforementioned Tweet while criticizing President Trump for the same. This lead many Conservative voices to question the point and the bias of the story.
Politicians have jumped onboard to make their own feelings on the issue known. Democrat Rep. Ted Lieu said:
“It is alarming the casualness with which President Trump shares classifieds information,”
“Just because something is in the press doesn’t make that information no longer classified, so the President should not be tweeting classified information just because he is the President.”
Lieu has been called a hypocrite on Social Media for openly discussing the classified information (the Tweet) with the media while stating that the President should not do essentially the same as himself.
CNN reports that the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley indicated:
“…that the information in the report is classified and was leaked.”
“I can’t talk about anything that’s classified and if that’s in the newspaper that’s a shame,”
Haley said Tuesday on “Fox and Friends” when asked about the story that cites two anonymous sources.
Pushed on whether the information was leaked, Haley said “it’s one of those things I don’t know what’s going on. I will tell you it’s incredibly dangerous when things get out into the press like that.” So, judging by Haley’s words, it is not even clear whether the information is actually classified, or if, in fact, Haley is just unaware of the information’s designation and is playing it safe.
The fact remains that the information publicly available to everyone in the world who has access to a computer or smartphone. Fox News, not being an obscure source by any means, having already released the information effectively negated any level of security that a status of “classified” is meant to ensure. A legal designation of “classified” is only useful if the information or intelligence is adequately secure. If the information is essentially “freely available”, then the “official designation” no longer ensures the intended level of security. The irony and hypocrisy of news agencies and political figures further publicizing this “classified information” along with their criticism of President Trump’s RE-Tweet is overwhelming.
What has been almost completely ignored is that the information classified or not, came from somewhere. In this case it was “anonymous sources,” according to CNN, which has become almost synonymous with “Deep State” Administration saboteurs in recent months. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced a clampdown on those leaking documents and information. Yet, news agencies are still receiving information that may be sensitive to national security.
Mark is a political writer and journalist who has worked on campaigns for Brexit.