Dianne Feinstein: On second thought, forget what I said about intel leaks coming from the White House

posted at 8:48 pm on July 24, 2012 by Allahpundit

Pitiful twice over. Once because this is wholly unconvincing, and twice because she and her own staff can’t get their story straight about why she’s walking this back. The official statement:

“I am disappointed by the statements made by Mr. Romney today regarding a question I was asked yesterday at the World Affairs Council.

“I was asked whether the White House might be responsible for recent national security leaks. I stated that I did not believe the president leaked classified information. I shouldn’t have speculated beyond that, because the fact of the matter is I don’t know the source of the leaks.

“I’m on record as being disturbed by these leaks, and I regret my remarks are being used to impugn President Obama or his commitment to protecting national security secrets. I know for a fact the president is extremely troubled by these leaks. His administration has moved aggressively to appoint two independent U.S. attorneys. There is an investigation under way, and it is moving forward quickly.

“I know we are in a campaign season, but I hope the investigation proceeds without political accusation or interference from anyone.”

Conspicuously absent here: Any suggestion that she doesn’t actually believe the White House is leaking, apart from a mild self-admonishment that she shouldn’t be speculating. Clearly she does believe it — just watch the clip of her remarks yesterday — but she felt obliged to issue some sort of lame, perfunctory walkback, no doubt under heavy pressure from The One. (The RNC gleefully accuses O of “Cory Booker-ing” her.) And in Feinstein’s defense, there’s every reason to think she’s right. Re-read this post from early June about Obama’s funny little habit of vigorously pursuing low-level leakers but not the people who leak hugely significant yet flattering stories about him kicking terrorist ass to papers like the Times. The big bombshell about O’s personal oversight of the terrorist “kill list” cited no fewer than three dozen advisors as sources. None of them work in the White House? And that was only the most recent major scoop; there’d been significant leaks about Stuxnet before that. Yet only on June 8, after an outcry by the GOP, did Obama finally get around to appointing two prosecutors to investigate the leaks (one of whom donated to his campaign, natch). Do those sound like the actions of a man who isn’t terribly concerned about White House leaks that make him look good in the middle of an election campaign?

Meanwhile, here’s the latest from Feinstein’s staff, which obviously hasn’t conferred with their boss on this:

Asked for more detail about the senator’s comments, a Feinstein aide says that when she said the leaks were “coming from its ranks,” the senator was referring to the Obama administration — the federal government — in general, not specifically individuals in the White House. The aide also said that the senator does not know who the leakers were; she was assuming.

No, she was quite obviously referring to individuals in the White House, not the government generally. If she meant the government generally, she would have said that in her statement this afternoon. In fact, to read her comments yesterday in that light makes them nonsensical. Of course the leaks are coming from inside the government. Obama’s already “doing something” about that by appointing the two prosecutors to investigate, and Feinstein knows it. What she said only makes sense if you understand her to mean that they need to look at the White House itself as a possible source. I realize this is paint-by-numbers spin to make a Kinsleyan gaffe go away, but at least spend five minutes on making it semi-plausible. Sheesh.

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“I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks,” Feinstein said in an address at the World Affairs Council, the Associated Press first reported.

But no, she didn’t say any of that.

freddyfrank81 on July 25, 2012 at 8:43 AM

There is an investigation under way, and it is moving forward quickly.

Is she talking about “fast and Furious” and why not? Why aren’t we pressing hard all the democrats that are in power why they insist on silently helping to cover such illegal and evil doings by the White House?
If they insist is wasn’t done from the White House -demand to see their proof. Don’t wait for the media puppies -you may never get another chance….

Don L on July 25, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Doesn’t Diane need to recuse herself from her committee until she explains under oath what she knew or didn’t know?

Don L on July 25, 2012 at 8:55 AM

Cory Booker Memorial Woodshed.

gwelf on July 25, 2012 at 9:00 AM

If you take your family to a restaurant, and you can’t control your children, is it any consolation that you’re not the one jumping on the booth?

michaelthomas on July 25, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Dianne Feinstein your explanation, as usual, is as clear as milk. Just like Obamboozle’s transparent administration. Smoke and Mirrors. Smoke and Mirrors.

HHW on July 25, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Sen Feinstein: “…I stated that I did not believe the president leaked CLASSIFIED information….”

The key word here is “classified.” I’ve noticed that folks defending the administration on this subject always use this qualifier. It is my understanding that this is done because the President can declassify any document he wants. My assumption is that the leaked material was “declassified” so then it could be leaked. Still wrong.

JeffVader on July 25, 2012 at 1:12 PM

“Ooops! I inadvertently told the truth; now I must make amends and backtrack lie about it.”

Diane Feinstein

Tennman on July 25, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Me thinks someone from the Obama White House called her and said….”Don’t forget…we know where you live.”

logicman_1998 on July 25, 2012 at 4:41 PM