McConnell: It’s important to investigate leaks that ‘endanger Americans’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Sunday that he fully supports investigating leaks that put American lives at risk.

"What I am supportive of is investigating national security leaks that endanger Americans around the world," McConnell said on NBC News's "Meet The Press."

McConnell's comments came on the heels of revelations that  the Justice Department secretly obtained journalists' phone records a part of an investigation into a leak of classified material about a failed al-Qaeda plot.

"Would this qualify, the seizure of AP phone records?" asked host David Gregory.

"We don't know yet what has happened here," replied McConnell. "What I do think is that national security leaks that endanger Americans around the world are a serious matter."

The news that the Justice Department obtained the phone records has been met with criticism by the media and members of both political parties. More than four dozen media organizations, including the Washington Post, joined together last week to sharply rebuke the Justice Department decision. Associated Press President and CEO Gary Pruitt on Sunday kept up criticism of the decision.

"I don't know what their motive is, but I can tell you their actions are unconstitutional," Pruitt said on CBS News's "Face The Nation."

In the wake of the the revelation, the White House began pressing for a media shield law. White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer challenged Republicans who criticized the Justice Department decision to pass the law.

"Well, the message is that the president supported this law for many years. There's been Republican opposition to it. All of a sudden, they have developed a fierce advocacy for the press. And this is an opportunity to demonstrate that," Pfeiffer said on "Meet The Press."

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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