Mitt Romney will be addressing the VFW Convention in Nevada this afternoon and, based on a prepared excerpt of his speech distributed by his campaign, he plans to demand President Obama conduct a “full and prompt investigation” of leaks of classified information that may have come from the White House.
“This conduct is contemptible. It betrays our national interest. It compromises our men and women in the field. And it demands a full and prompt investigation, with explanation and consequence,” Mr. Romney’s speech says. “Whoever provided classified information to the media, seeking political advantage for the administration, must be exposed, dismissed, and punished. The time for stonewalling is over.”
Mr. Romney’s remarks come after Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic leader of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said it appeared someone within the White House may have been responsible for leaks on America’s ongoing cyberwar with Iran and an Al Qaeda plot to take out a commercial plane. In his speech, Mr. Romney cites Ms. Feinstein as well as an incident where former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates reportedly told President Obama’s national security advisor to “shut the f–k up” in the wake of leaks on the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.
“It is reported that Bob Gates, the President’s first secretary of defense, bluntly addressed another security problem within this administration. After secret operational details of the bin Laden raid were given to reporters, Secretary Gates walked into the West Wing and told the Obama team to ‘shut up.’ He added a colorful word for emphasis,” Mr. Romney says in his speech. “Yesterday, Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, quote, ‘I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks.’”
Mr. Romney described White House leaks as “a national security crisis” and he demanded the president take action as soon as possible rather than waiting until after the election.
“It is not enough to say the matter is being looked into, and leave it at that. When the issue is the political use of highly sensitive national security information, it is unacceptable to say, ‘We’ll report our findings after Election Day,’” Mr. Romney says in the speech. “Exactly who in the White House betrayed these secrets? Did a superior authorize it? These are things that Americans are entitled to know – and they are entitled to know right now. If the President believes – as he said last week – that the buck stops with him, then he owes all Americans a full and prompt accounting of the facts.”
Mr. Romney will also promise a leak-free White House if he is elected president.
“Let me be clear: These events make the decision we face in November all the more important. What kind of White House would reveal classified material for political gain? I’ll tell you right now: Mine won’t,” he says in the speech.