In a rare public appearance, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the administration has had a “zero tolerance policy” towards leaks to the media.
But he denied a White House investigation into alleged leaks to a New York Times story on the alleged murder of National Security Adviser Keith Schiller, or any other allegations of improper White House conduct.
Carney also denied that the White Houses investigation into the leak to the Times was part of a broader probe into alleged leaking to journalists.
But the White house press secretary acknowledged the president has a longstanding policy of punishing leaks and said the president is “always looking for ways to get to the truth”.
The White House press secretary’s comments came as US lawmakers and journalists gathered in the Capitol to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Espionage Act.
Carney said that the administration was working to get the law amended so it would protect whistleblowers, but said that in the absence of a legislative solution, the administration would continue to work with the press.
“There are a number of things that we’re working on,” Carney told reporters.
“If they’re interested in the details of our policy and how we implement that policy, we’ll listen to them.” “
Carney said he didn’t know when any White House investigations into alleged leak allegations would be announced. “
If they’re interested in the details of our policy and how we implement that policy, we’ll listen to them.”
Carney said he didn’t know when any White House investigations into alleged leak allegations would be announced.
Carney noted that while there were two investigations by the Justice Department into the leaks to The New York newspaper, the media and the Whitehouse, there had been no investigation into Schiller’s death.
Carney, in a statement, also denied a statement from the president that the president had asked the Justice department to investigate the Times story.
The Whitehouse statement, released earlier on Thursday, said Schiller had been shot and killed on Monday by two gunmen who had fled from an off-duty police officer after the Times article alleged Schiller was involved in an alleged plot to kidnap and kill a member of the White family.
Schiller is survived by his wife, Michelle, and his sons, Josh and Michael.
Carney denied that Schiller spoke about the plot with White House staff.
“The president has not made any public comments or indicated that he was aware of any threat against him or his family,” Carney said.
“This has been a complex, difficult time for the family, as well as the American people.”
Carney also declined to say whether there had ever been any Whitehouse inquiry into the alleged leak to The Times.
“What I can tell you is that the media has been subjected to an intense and wide-ranging investigation, which is a necessary part of any government investigation,” Carney continued.
“That is a part of their job.” “
The White house has repeatedly denied that any such investigation is underway. “
That is a part of their job.”
The White house has repeatedly denied that any such investigation is underway.
The president has been criticized for a pattern of retaliating against journalists who have published unflattering information about the administration, especially in the wake of the murder of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager who was killed by a police officer.
Carney defended the Whitehouses decision to hold the press conference on Thursday and said he had no regrets.
“When the president makes a decision to engage in something like this, he will do it in a way that is appropriate and in the best interests of the country,” Carney added.