President Obama spoke about the recent AP information leaks scandal today during a joint press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan.
The president took a firm stance on the Justice Department’s obtainment of AP phone records, saying that such measures are necessary when national security is at stake.
"Leaks related to national security can put people at risk. They can put men in women in uniform ... they can put some of our intelligence officers ... at risk,” Obama said.
Obama also spoke on the White House’s recent request to Congress for a new “media shield law,” reiterating to the group that freedom of the press is just as important now as ever.
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“The flip side of it is we also live in a democracy where a free press, free expression and the open flow of information helps hold me accountable, helps hold our government accountable and helps our democracy function,” he said.
Obama mentioned that the Justice Department does not inform the White House about every investigation they do, but that he has “complete confidence in Eric Holder as attorney general.”
The president later spoke briefly about the recent IRS and Benghazi stories as well.
On the IRS, Obama again promised to “hold accountable” all from the department who were at fault in targeting conservative groups.
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“The minute that I found out about it, then my main focus is to make sure we get the thing fixed,” he said. Obama fired acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller yesterday. Miller allegedly has been aware of the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups since last May.
On the Benghazi front, Obama asked congress to “fully fund our budget request” for increased security forces at embassies and other global diplomat posts. He did not comment on any of the recent Benghazi whistleblower investigations or Eric Holders judiciary committee meeting in the House yesterday.