US Senator John McCain on Saturday accused President Barack Obama’s administration of leaking details of a reported cyber attack on Iran and other secret operations to bolster the president’s image in an election year.
“Again we see these leaks to the media about ongoing operations, which is incredibly disturbing. Doesn’t this give some benefit to our adversaries?” McCain told reporters in Singapore, where he was attending a summit on Asian security.
McCain, who was defeated by Obama in the 2008 presidential election, said there had been ill-advised leaks previously that revealed details of the US raid last year that killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and other operations.
“We know the leaks have to come from the administration. And so we’re at the point where perhaps we need an investigation,” said McCain, the most senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“So this is kind of a pattern in order to hype the national security credentials of the president and every administration does it. But I think this administration has taken it to a new level.”
The New York Times reported Friday that Obama accelerated cyberattacks on Iran’s nuclear program using the Stuxnet virus, and expanded the assault even after the virus accidentally made its way onto the Internet in 2010.
The operation, begun under president George W. Bush and codenamed “Olympic Games,” is the first known sustained US cyberattack ever launched on another country, employing malicious code developed with Israel, according to the Times.
McCain said he believed the US president had authority to launch such an attack.
“But I also believe that it would be helpful if he talked to a select few leaders of Congress. Most presidents have done this,” he said.
The White House “never” briefed lawmakers on the assault, he said.
The Times said its report was based on 18 months of interviews with current and former US, European and Israeli officials, and was adapted from the book “Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power,” by David Sanger, set to be published next week.
The cyberattack, aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, sowed widespread confusion in Iran’s Natanz nuclear plant, the newspaper said.
Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.
As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.
Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:
1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."
Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR
British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate
Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.
The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.
In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.
Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6
President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.
Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.
Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019