Mitchell Reports | July 25, 2012
>> mitt romney has accused the white house of damaging national security for leaking classified secrets for political gain.
>> exactly who in the white house betrayed these secrets? did a superior authorize it? these are things that americans are entitled to know, and they're entitled to know it now. if the president believes as he said last week that the buck stops with him, then he owes all americans a full and prompt accounting of the facts.
>> on mo" morning joe " senior adviser david axelrod said he was not personally involved.
>> i can tell you he did not leak classified information as mitt romney suggests. he didn't authorize classified information as mitt romney suggested yesterday.
>> michigan republican mike rogers chairs the house committee and is a former fbi agent and joins us from capitol hill . congressman, thank you for being with us. let's talk about the leaks and your concerns. do we have any indications that they could have come directly from the white house and that they could have been blessed by the president?
>> you see, andrea, it's a whole panoply of leaks. it rises to the concern where you have even democrats raising questions about the origins of these leaks, and so we know a couple of things. the most damaging -- and i would argue, andrea, these are some of the most damaging leaks to our national security probably in my lifetime. serious, serious consequences. in some of the leaks it showed it had to have a high level of clearance, covert access to the information and access to the situation room and as a former fbi investigator that narrows that pull pretty closely. as we would say, that's a clue about where you can start looking for where these leaks could have originated. i think that's why all of the speculation both on democrats and republicans, it may have come out of the white house .
>> we're talking about the number of books including david sanger 's book about the covert operations . we know that he has reported from germany, from israel, from other places as well. is it far for the republican nominee to blame the president personally for this?
>> well, i think -- here's what i think. i think there's some frustration here. again, you saw that with senator feinstein the other day coming out saying, boy, it sure looks like it came out of the white house . there was an opportunity for the president, i thought, to really put a halt to this, to come out right after the series of very damaging leaks and say, not on my watch, if someone's doing this, they should be held accountable, we're going to cooperate fully with the investigation, and i'm telling me people right now if they're leaking information, stop it, it's a crime. none of that happened. so it was kind of this loose we didn't leak the information and then no pushing on the investigation to move forward. i think that's a mistake the president made and it lends credence to all of this. i thing the president could put this to bed. he comes out and gives a strong statement that he'll cooperate fully and that he's sending a strong message to the people who work for him, this will not be tolerated. there will be sanctions. i'll tell you why it's important, andrandrea. there are bits and pieces are troubling. we need to send a clear message . you cannot do this. it risks lives and risks our ability to keep america safe.
>> one of the big criticisms from the romney camp, governor romney themselves, that they have not investigated this with an independent council do. you have a problem with the fact that two very well known prosecutors, one an appointee were appointed to investigate this?
>> i'm not going to question it. i think it's the prosecutors and the fbi investigators to move forward. if you're going to do this correctly, you have to be talking to people who are working in and around the national security council at the white house . that's a hard thing to do when that's in your chain of command . it may even go to the attorney general. it could go in the department of defense . so you've got two folks who are junior to the attorney general looking at two very individual specific cases of leaks and knowing that they may or may not have full availability in a way that the investigation should take it. and i'm of the camp that says you should follow that lead wherever it goes. if it takes you to the white house , so be it. if it takes you to the didn't of defense or any other department, so be it. that is a little concerned and i was concerned. i was willing to give them lead time up front but i'm starting to get concerned that that's not happening and that's what's got so many concerned.
>> mike roger. thank you, mr.