Homeland Security Chief: Leaks 'Darn Close to Treason'
Plus, John Kelly, Clapper weigh in on Jared Kushner's alleged contact with Russia
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2017 12:58 PM CDT
In this Thursday, May 25, 2017, file photo, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly listens on Capitol Hill, while testifying before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(Newser) – Whoever is behind the leaks of intelligence Britain shared with the United States in the wake of the Manchester bombing is in dangerous territory, according to the secretary of Homeland Security. "I believe when you leak the kind of information that seems to be routinely leaked—high, high level of classification… I think it's darn close to treason," John Kelly tells NBC News. Kelly addressed the reports of Jared Kushner seeking backchannel communication with Russia, calling him "a great guy, decent guy," whose "number one interest, really, is the nation... I don't see any big issue here relative to Jared." Further, "I think anytime you can open lines of communication with anyone, whether they're good friends or not so good friends, is a smart thing to do." Elsewhere on your Sunday talk show dial:

  • Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has a different view on Kushner, telling NBC News that "my dashboard warning light was clearly on and I think that was the case with all of us in the intelligence community, very concerned about the nature of these approaches to the Russians."
  • Adam Schiff, the top Dem on the House Intel panel, tells ABC News that "there ought to be a review of (Kushner's) security clearance to find out whether he was truthful, whether he was candid" about contact with Russia. "If not, than there's no way he can maintain that kind of a clearance."
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham tells CNN that "I don't trust this story as far as I can throw it. The whole story line is suspicious, I've never been more concerned and suspicious about all things Russia than I am right now, so I'm not going to jump to" any conclusions.
  • Rick Santorum would like President Trump to lay off the tweeting. He tells CNN that "if you tweet every day and complain about the media and complain about how you are being treated, you're going to be sidetracked and you're not going to get your deals done. That's the message."
  • Asked what Russia is after, Defense Secretary James Mattis says, "Beats me. Right now, Russia's future should be wedded to Europe. Why they see NATO as a threat is beyond me. Clearly, NATO is not a threat," he tells CBS News.

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