Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) complimented Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) for fingering the White House in national security leaks, a statement she quickly backtracked and said was spun out of context by Mitt Romney.
“I was asked whether the White House might be responsible for recent national security leaks. I stated that I did not believe the president leaked classified information. I shouldn’t have speculated beyond that, because the fact of the matter is I don’t know the source of the leaks,” Feinstein said in a statement yesterday. “…I know we are in a campaign season, but I hope the investigation proceeds without political accusation or interference from anyone.”
Graham said on Fox that he’s been in her shoes, “where you criticize your own party, the other guys always try to use it against you.”
“But Dianne Feinstein has really been a stand-up person here,” he continued. “It’s clear to me that the leaks coming out of the White House were orchestrated to create a political advantage for the president. Romney’s right.”
The senator said the reason “these leaks came out so quickly, 45 days apart, is to paint a narrative that this is a strong administration on national security, and it’s really hurt our national security.”
He added that “we’re never going to get to the bottom of it with Eric Holder picking two U.S. assistant attorneys, one who gave money to the Obama administration” to investigate the leaks.
Graham acknowledged that Feinstein came under White House pressure to walk back her statements.
“You can look at Dianne in two ways,” he said. “She spoke truth to power and she’s backing up now because Romney used her comments. But Governor Romney was right to tell the members of the American Legion and the country as a whole that what the President Obama’s team did here was unconscionable.”
“My problem is not with her,” Graham added. “My problem is with the people who orchestrated a campaign to compromise our national security.”