Obama against prosecuting journalists, White House says
May 21st, 2013
05:35 PM ET
8 years ago

Obama against prosecuting journalists, White House says

(CNN) – Following revelations that the Obama administration has launched investigations into journalists from both the Associated Press and Fox News over national security leaks, the White House said Tuesday that President Obama does not believe journalists should be "prosecuted for doing their jobs."

"I can tell you that in our conversation yesterday, [President Obama] reiterated just how important he believes it is that reporters, that all of you and your colleagues, are able to do your jobs in a free and open way," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney at Tuesday's press briefing.

The White House faced renewed questions on the issue after the Washington Post reported Monday that the Department of Justice named Fox News Correspondent James Rosen a "co-conspirator" in an investigation of a leak included in a story he reported on North Korea. That followed the revelation last week that the DOJ had seized the phone records of several AP reporters involved in national security reporting.

Speaking Tuesday, Carney said the president believes in finding the right balance between safeguarding vital security information and protecting freedom of the press.

"He believes there is an important balance to be found here, and he thinks the questions about how that balance is being struck are entirely legitimate and he welcomes the public discussions, again, about the broad question of the balance that needs to be struck," Carney, a former reporter himself, also said.

Responding to those comments, the White House Correspondents Association said in a statement that it stands "in strong solidarity with our colleagues who have been scrutinized."

"In terms of the administration, ultimately what will matter more in all of these cases is action not words," the association also said.

Filed under: Jay Carney • President Obama
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. SwingState

    Why are people getting all worked up about the government trying to protect national security? I could understand if this administration outed a covert agent. Remember that?

    May 21, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  2. Just a thought

    Rick Mc said
    Obama only says that, because he knows he can't really get around Freedom of the Press. If he COULD.......he WOULD
    Oh Rickster, surely you jest....do you enjoy posting messages only a putz would say? Its almost like you can read the President's mind...really, really ??? LOL There have been a lot smarter people that have tried that and guess what,....yeah that's right Rickster....THEY LOST! in both 2008 and just as recent as 7 months ago....LOL, keep entertaining yourself feel with those feelings of grand-dumb ....The rest of us can't wait for your next piece of wisdom _serious sarcasm

    May 22, 2013 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  3. J.V.Hodgson

    Shall we put all this into one or two very clear perspectives.
    A person employed by the government in a job that requires a security clearance and signing up in his/her employment contract not to disclose secret / confidential data that comes into thier posession is guilt of criminal offense if they disclose that to anyone without the appropriate security clearance. ( innocent until proven guilty applies) Miranda rights 5th amendment etc.
    If you do not wish to work under such conditions and want, say to have the option to be a whistle blower then a government security Job is not for you as you will be doing it knowing at some point in time you reserve the right plus the press as to what is viably secret information but accessible as one individual chooses ( anarchy?)
    Please remember also we have multiple oversight committees etc on military secrets, pentagon secrets, State department secrets, CIA, and NSA secrets etc etc.
    The federal authorities have the right to use the powers of the FBI to track down leaks via investigative means and we already know media and reporters cannot be forced to identify sources ( 1st amendment). But its a two way street the government has responsibility to stop the illegal exposure of secret or confidential information by employees.
    Washington leaks like sieve.... there is something wrong with a system that leaks so badly and it needs fixing.
    Especially when large parts of the US media have a clear political bias towards either Republicans or Democrats.

    May 22, 2013 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  4. TONY

    @Rick McDaniel
    Can you find it in your heart to give the greatest President in America's history some credit.

    May 22, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
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