DUBLIN — President Joe Biden suggested Thursday the United States government is close to identifying the leaker responsible for posting classified Pentagon documents on social media.
Speaking from Dublin, where he is meeting the Irish president, Biden confirmed a ‘full blown’ investigation is underway and added the U.S. is ‘getting close’ to identifying the individual.
“There’s a full-blown investigation going on, as you know,” Biden told reporters. “The intelligence community and the Justice Department. And they’re getting close. I don’t have an answer for you.”
Biden’s comments come less than 24 hours after The Washington Post published a story detailing the individual behind the leak worked on a military base and posted sensitive national security information in an online group. The Post described the person as “a lonely young man and gun enthusiast”.
According to the post, the leaker “exposed spying on allies and revealed the grim prospects for Ukraine’s war with Russia”.
“He’s a smart person. He knew what he was doing when he posted these documents, of course. These weren’t accidental leaks of any kind,” a member of the online group told The Post of the leakers’ intentions.
When asked about the leaks, the President said he was concerned the leaks happened but not necessarily about their content.
“I’m not concerned about the leak,” Biden said. “I’m concerned that it happened, but there’s nothing contemporaneous that I’m aware of that is of any consequence.”
The Post reported other intelligence leaks included assessments of allies and adversaries as well as intelligence documents intended for an exclusive circle of military leaders.
“An interagency effort has been stood up, focused on assessing the impact these photographed documents could have on U.S. national security and on our Allies and partners,” Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said in a statement.
The Pentagon launched a separate investigation, looking at who receives highly classified daily intelligence briefs.