Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) on Monday took President Donald Trump’s advice, attempting to corner former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates over whether they have ever leaked “classified or unclassified information” to the press.
Unfortunately for Kennedy, it’s not “leaking” if it’s unclassified information, a detail Clapper gleefully pointed out to the GOP senator.
“General Clapper, have you ever leaked information—classified or unclassified—to the press?” Kennedy asked.
“Not wittingly or knowingly, as I said in my statement,” Clapper replied.
“Classified or unclassified?” Kennedy pressed.
“Well, unclassified is not leaking,” Clapper explained.
Following Kennedy’s flub, the room broke into laughter.
Hours before Yates was scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Trump took to Twitter to implore his Republican lackeys to question Yates about whether she “knows how classified information got into the newspapers.” The Trump administration has faced an onslaught of sensitive leaks, including classified information surrounding the ouster of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn—a subject of Monday’s hearing.
Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2017
In February, Trump insisted the “real story” surrounding Flynn’s resignation pertains to “illegal leaks coming out of Washington” and not Flynn’s relationship to Russia.
Watch the video below, via CNN: