February 4th, 2010
04:45 PM ET
5 years ago

White House, Republican clash on terror briefings

Sen. Kit Bond wrote President Obama a letter Thursday expressing concern over the handling of sensitive information.
Sen. Kit Bond wrote President Obama a letter Thursday expressing concern over the handling of sensitive information.

Washington (CNN) - White House press secretary Robert Gibbs pushed back Thursday against claims made by Sen. Kit Bond, R-Missouri, that the Obama administration mishandled critical security information in the case of Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab.

"I am deeply disturbed with the official handling of vital national security information regarding the recent cooperation by the Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab," Bond wrote in a letter sent Thursday to President Obama.

Bond, the senior Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in his letter that he was briefed Monday about Abdulmutallab's cooperation with authorities.

Bond wrote that within 24 hours of the FBI briefing Congress, the White House had informed reporters of Abdulmutallab's cooperation, a move Bond charged that "has no doubt been helpful to his terrorist cohorts around the world."

During Thursday's White House briefing, Gibbs said no classified information was disseminated to reporters. "Having read the letter, no briefing was done here or anywhere in this administration where classified information is used in a place it shouldn't be."

Gibbs went a step further, calling on Bond to apologize, "He owes an apology to professionals in the law enforcement community and those that work in this building."

Bond fired back in a statement to CNN. "After telling me to keep my mouth shut, the White House discloses sensitive information in an effort to defend a dangerous and unpopular decision to Mirandize Abdulmutallab and I'm supposed to apologize?" Bond said.


Filed under: Kit Bond • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Kit Bond is way out of order on this one and should apologize for this unwarranted attack that serves no purpose other than his own and his GOP buddies. This is very disturbing and just shows how desperate Republicans have become.

    February 4, 2010 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  2. Total BS

    Shut your mouth Bond !!

    February 4, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    These seditious gutless cowards, in the Repugnant Party, need to stop trying to use this as a wedge political issue especially since they are just factually wrong here.

    The Christmas Day Underwear Bomber has talked, is talking, and will continue to talk even after these pieces of excrement , like Bond, move on to scurrilously politicize another important issue!

    Shame on these gutless opportunists!

    Where were these hypocrits when the Bush Adm. was doing the same exact thing?

    What cow pies!

    February 4, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. Fangbird

    Kit Bond looked a lot better when he was younger. But then again, I guess everybody does. Who really cares what he thinks? Not even the people of Missouri.

    February 4, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  5. Republicans - Wrong about everything, Wrong for America (and GW Bush was the worst President ever)

    The Republicans want everyone to believe that only they know how to protect the country from terrorism (even though the worst terrorist attack ever took place under their watch). So they lie. They say that this guy has given up no information even though they have no idea what he has said. According to several un-named (for obvious reasons) people in the intelligence community, this guy has given them plenty of info. Of course, the Republicans also neglect to mention how Richard Ried was immediately morandized after he was arrested, for example. Or how Bush tried over 300 terrorists in federal court. I guess it was ok then.

    February 4, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. MikeH

    Kit Bond is a typical Republican liar.

    February 4, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    I will say with great humility that our Secretary of D in Gibbs is someone I trust, someone who I think has done a good job...but there have been missteps in the handling and perseverance of how the Christmas plot was held. I do think it raises some serious questions not on how our Secretary is being conducted, but by how much effort is being done to do something about it.

    How much effort? How much stability? How much collective information? And so on. The best way is how much on the same page they literally are in. I will say who knows how much of an effect the President would have gotten if he appointed someone of difference? That's right I think Gibbs is cool and I hope is being briefed, conducted and adviced on many important issues for our country's security.

    February 4, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  8. Gary

    "I am deeply disturbed "
    That say's it all for me.
    Maybe you can get Palin to feel sorry for you.
    Hypocrit

    February 4, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  9. Independent

    Yes, Bond, you are deeply disturbed to make the cooperation of vital intelligence gathering about politics instead of working together for America.

    And sorry, but after the outright lies from Collins, McConnell, et al, there is no way I can trust them with our national security.

    February 4, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  10. Realist

    Why wasn't Kit Bond outraged when Bush Mirandized the shoe bomber? Oh yes, because it's O.K. to politicize security if you are a Republican. Kit Bond is a pathetic sack of political crap.

    February 4, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. ej in Tacoma

    Do Republicans just not accept the fact Obama is our President and continue with their own agendas no matter what!
    ej in tacoma

    February 4, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. Mitch

    FIrst of all, I doubt it would be big news to Al Qaeda that someone has talked to the US Govt....look at the successful water boarding that Bush and Cheney did. So a novice, unknown kid who was an experiment in blowing up underwear is suddenly tied into the entire terrorist network?

    Who is Bond trying to kid? Is this guy that incompetent that he's making an issue about this almost 2 months after the fact????

    I have an idea for Bond....keep your own mouth shut and do your job.

    February 4, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. Jim

    This republican is a luny!!! What sensitive information – republicans are destroying the great country.

    February 4, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  14. Common Sense

    Funny how the GOP is screaming about the Christmas bomber, who was luckily was caught before anything happened. However, the GOP was 100% responsible as well as Al Queda for the 9/11 attacks on New York City. The GOP gloats at how well they handled 9/11. They seem to forget how many thousands of US citizens were killed during 9/11. The GOP had their chance to go after Al Queda, whch they messed up and mispent millions of dollars in going after Iraq and giving us one of the highest Federal deficits in history. Fact is fact!

    February 4, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  15. Albo58

    As usual, "Fibbs" is WRONG!

    February 4, 2010 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  16. independent

    Maybe you should stop shooting from the lip?

    February 4, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  17. John

    Mr. Gibbs.....

    you sir..... are unqualified for your job.

    thank you.

    February 4, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  18. key

    You guys cheapen the United States Government.

    February 4, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. HAWK, TEXAS

    Kit Bond is another fossil that needs to be put out to pasture.along with the rest of the party of NO.

    February 4, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  20. Joe, Georgia

    I find it hard to believe that Kit Bond or other Republicans trying to make an issue of how this terrorist suspect is being treated can be such hypocrites. The FBI and law enforcement are handling this case exactly the way they have handled every other terrorist suspect arrested on American soil. That includes the shoe bomber and the 9/11 crew member arrested in Minnesota. Why was the method correct under Bush but wrong now?

    February 4, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  21. kfk

    I think the Republicans should tell the truth about the under pants bomber. They should have watched Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. Last night she went through all of the accusations that were WRONG with sound documentation.

    February 4, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  22. Lisa P

    Gibbs didn't tell Bond to "keep his mouth shut"; he said that Bond ought to apologize.

    If this sort of misstatement and mischaracterization of facts is what passes for "intelligence" in the GOP then all I can say is thank God the Democrats are running Congress!

    February 4, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  23. GI Joe

    Poor Baby. Whining again. The republicans "leak" confidential information all the time.

    February 4, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  24. Orange Curtain, CA

    Republicans being useless as usual with nothing else to do other than old FEAR-MONGERING tricks of the Bush/Cheney administration. Senator Bond is a smuck, do your job and some real work for a change.

    February 4, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  25. Say what???

    Let me see. In August 2001, ex-president Bush got the memo "Bin Laden determined to strike America" totally ignored it and this guy is complaining about this. Going back to news almost 10 years ago this guy was not even in picture. That is the problems with Republicans "scare the hell out of people", "make them think we are better at security, even when the record speaks opposite", "ignore competent people" and "screw our country in order to benefit big businesses". They really are full of it....

    February 4, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
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