On Saturday (April 15), Republican Senator Marco Rubio (Fla.) accused the Biden administration of downplaying recent leaks of classified information and military documents, describing the leak as a big deal.”
Rubio criticized comments Biden made on Thursday (April 13), where the President claimed the leak was not of “great consequence,” telling Fox News’s Brian Kilmeade that Biden was unable to communicate effectively with the world.
Rubio explained the leak calls for a “comprehensive” assessment and a major overhaul of how the state classifies documents, how they are “compartmented,” how they are protected, and how people can access them.
The Florida Senator noted that the leak came from a 21-year-old guy who posted it online but didn’t appear to be a spy for any country.
Instead, Rubio, like others, claimed the leaker, Jack Teixeira, only leaked the documents to “show off to his friends,” adding that the actions had caused real damage.
On Thursday, Teixeira, a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, was arrested and charged the following day with violating the Espionage Act for his role in the leak.
Authorities believe he posted the documents to a group he belonged to on Discord, an online messaging program used primarily by gamers and youths.
Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the press secretary of the Pentagon, described Teixeira’s actions as a “deliberate criminal act.”
The leak may also have created international relations challenges for the United States, as the leaked information included an assessment of Ukraine and Russia’s military capabilities and intelligence operations that the United States has in several countries, including some allies.
However, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he believed the leak had not affected U.S. cooperation with allies.
Rubio questioned why the Biden Admin was downplaying the leak, querying, “If it’s not a big deal, why did the FBI raid the guy’s home and arrest him in an armored vehicle?” explaining that it was, in fact, “a big deal.”