Officials with the White House have pressed journalists to not try and report on what seems to be recently leaked classified documents from the Pentagon that are currently making their rounds online.
As the coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council, John Kirby spoke out to plead with journalists as part of a White House Press Briefing earlier this week as the U.S. government currently struggles to issue a response to what could possibly be the largest breach of highly classified documents and secrets since the events surrounding Edward Snowden.
"Without confirming the validity of the documents, this is information that has no business in the public domain," claimed Kirby while at the podium in the wake of numerous questions regarding the documents.
"It has no business — if you don’t mind me saying — on the front pages of newspapers or on television," he stated. "It is not intended for public consumption and it should not be out there."
John Kirby warns journalists not to report on leaked Pentagon documents.
"This is information that has no business in the public domain...It has no business...on the front pages of newspapers or on television." pic.twitter.com/625CxNIarI
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) April 10, 2023
Earlier this week, the Pentagon issues its own statement which claimed that the Department of Defense (DoD) has picked up and is working to assess the validity and national security impact of the leaked images that started to make their round across social media, starting with the app Discord, which showed what seemed to be classified details regarding Russian's war in Ukraine, China, a number of surveillance efforts, and much more. Officials with the U.S. spoke out to allies, partners, and Congress about the disclosure, reported the Pentagon.
One U.S. defense official explained to The Washington Post that most of the documents seemed like they have been prepared for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, and other high-ranking military officials, but made sure to stress that these records would be made available to people that possessed the proper clearance.
The source of this possible leak is still entirely unclear, but the Department of Justice has initiated a full-scale criminal investigation regarding the issues after a referral from the DoD. As a retired Navy rear admiral that has served previously as the spokesman for the Pentagon, Kirby was quick to confirm that there is, indeed, a suspicion that at least a few of the images within the documents may have been altered or doctored entirely.
Q: "Do you believe the leak is contained? Are there more documents out there that have not been released publicly? Is this an ongoing threat?"
NSC Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby: "We don't know. We truly don't know." pic.twitter.com/QpPYXZyexS
— CSPAN (@cspan) April 10, 2023