(CNSNews.com) – The leaked Defense Department classified documents on Ukraine are “static” and offers the United States the chance to “change the outcomes” of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and give Ukraine an advantage, Rep. Mike Turner, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday.
“Obviously there’s great concern as to anyone who might have access to classified documents who would commit an act of espionage, which is what this is. You know, Secretary Austin made clear this individual will be tracked down. If they’re American, they’re a traitor,” he told “CNN This Morning.”
“They’ll certainly be brought to justice, but the aspect of what are in these documents, the content of these documents, is what’s troubling and what really requires action,” the congressman said.
“Although these documents are static – they’re a picture of, at a specific period of time — it does allow us to have some flexibility in working with Ukraine and with the United States to try to change the outcomes, change the circumstances that are reflected in the documents, obviously, to continue to support Ukraine and giving it an advantage, but the fact that people do have access to these documents, and they might have continued access is why we need to find where this leak is coming from to prevent future damage,” he said.
CNN’s Poppy Harlow said that part of what the document shows is how pessimistic the U.S. outlook for Ukraine is – even more so than high-ranking administration officials have been saying publicly. She asked whether this could alter Ukraine’s plans in fighting the war.
“I’m glad you raised that point, because that really is kind of misleading. I was just as you said in Ukraine, and I met with both our service members and officials from NATO. There’s actually a great deal of optimism. In order to be able to support Ukraine, in order to be able to support outcomes and strategy, you have to first decide and review critically what are your weaknesses,” Turner said.
“You have an ability to impact the outcome of those weaknesses. So I think anybody who looks at these who thinks that you know this means that these outcomes will be negative is drawing the wrong conclusions. These are working documents for us to be able to impact,” he said.
When asked whether he agrees with CIA Director William Byrnes that there’s a serious problem of over-classification, the congressman said, “Absolutely, and part of the problem with the over-classification is the American public, and sometimes even the rest of Congress, doesn’t get a real picture of what’s going on, and it inhibits the ability to have a discussion and a debate.”
“I think that this is probably one of the number one things that we need to do is get information out in the public discourse. We certainly have seen this with respect to Russian information that we’ve had, classified information that we put out that has changed the outcome of this fight, so it does have an impact the moment you can take classified information and put it out in the public in a positive way, not in an espionage way as this was,” Turner said.
From CNSNews - READ ORIGINAL
Some media, including videos, may only be available to view at the original.