Kirby: You Can’t Leave a SCIF with Classified Material Unless That Material Is 'Appropriately Secured’

( – If someone leaves a SCIF, a sensitive compartmented information facility, with classified information, it is their duty to “self-report,” White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said Wednesday.

“How hard is it to walk out of a SCIF with classified material?” Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy asked.

“Everybody who goes into a SCIF knows what the requirements are to go in and knows what the requirements are to go out. You can’t bring personal devices in, and you certainly can’t leave with material unless that material is appropriately secured,” Kirby said.

“And usually what happens to someone in the chain of command if they do leave with a piece of classified material that they’re not supposed to have or that is not secured?” Doocy asked.

“I think if you do it inadvertently or you do it and you realize you don’t have it secured in a locked bag, you self-report, which is exactly what the president did – self-reported, but you self-report, and you make sure that get the material secured where it belongs and that you’re transparent about it,” Kirby said.


When asked how concerned Kirby is from a national security perspective about classified materials showing up in places where they’re not supposed to be and whether the system needs reform, Kirby said he would “defer most of the document questions” to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

“Only thing I’d say here is that .. obviously the president – you’ve heard Karine say – he takes the handling of classified materials seriously. I can assure you that everybody here does too, and the National Security Council staff, we deal with classified material every single day. You have to do that,” he said.

“We all know what the rules are. We follow the rules, and the procedures exist for a reason, and they’ve been developed over many, many years as the nature of classified materials has changed to now include electronic capability, and so we’re working at that very, very hard. I don’t have any changes to speak to,” Kirby said.

“The process of classified material handling – not process – but the guidelines change over time. We’re always reviewing those procedures to make sure that they’re fully appropriate,” he added.


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