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I believe we must keep information secret.
The protects our operations and our people in the field.
To do so we must enforce consequences for those who break the law and breached their commitment.
To protect classified information.
But a free press is also essential for democracy that's who we are.
And I'm troubled by the possibility that leak investigations.
May chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable.
President Obama there attempting to quiet the backlash over his administration's spying on journalists.
A Washington Post reported earlier in the week broke the story.
Turns out the Justice Department did some spying on the news gathering activities of a Fox News reporter as a potential crime.
In relation to classified leaks from the State Department about North Korea.
Chief Washington correspondent James Rosen is the target.
In one document and FBI agent labels Rosen -- co conspirator.
Investigators pulled grosans security badge records full dogs and his personal emails.
-- and they never charged him with a crime reaction.
He is fierce executive vice president of Fox News Michael Clemente.
We are outraged to learn the James Rosen was named a criminal co conspirator for simply doing his job as a reporter in fact it is downright chilling.
As the story developed and more details about the scope of the investigation emerged Fox News chairman Roger -- reacted.
The administration's attempt to -- didn't intimidate Fox News and its employees will not succeed.
And their excuses will stand neither the test of law the test of decency nor the test of time we will not allow climate -- press intimidation.
Unseen since the McCarthy era.
To frighten any of us away from the truth.
So Jim what about that comparison to the McCarthy era that was pretty dark days in America.
That was early fifties and many people lived in fear of telling the truth in there and and and that I think the -- Periods are comparable I think it's quite something.
And I I'm intrigued to see that President Obama declared -- -- quote troubled by this but then of course the same time keep same attorney general.
Who did all this is Jennifer Rubin pointed out in the Washington Post it is just simply not believable to think that that -- wasn't doing this.
Even if he said he refused himself and so -- -- his -- job he's doing a policy the president doesn't agree.
The reaction from editorial boards and journalists has been fears -- including the New York Times your former employee employer.
They wrote the Obama administration officials often talk about the balance between protecting secrets.
And protecting the constitutional rights of a free press accusing a reporter of being a co conspirator.
On top of -- zealous and secretive investigations.
Show the heavy tilt towards secrecy.
And insufficient concern about a free press pretty strong.
Well pretty strong as far as the New York Times does that mean there are really their their most fundamental questions about what this Justice Department is up to.
By -- it's kind of a search warrants not only against James Rosen but also against the AP and the fact that -- -- Eric Holder.
Doesn't remember how many of these warrants he signed.
How many he turned back.
For modification -- he called them but that the president continues to maintain confidence.
Raises a lot of questions.
Well -- Rick we're also getting word that the guy assigned to.
Sort of investigate.
These these issues within the Justice Department.
Is the head of the Justice Department Eric Holder is going to be investigating himself what's been the reaction to that in the media.
Well the whole story has been kind of -- food from the beginning and and let's face it.
This is not the Obama administration going effort we're going after leaguers.
They're going after -- is who make the Obama administration look bad.
I mean you cannot compare the fact of the James Rosen and let's say David Sanger the -- times David Sanger.
Has been getting Intel from someone at the Obama administration from four months in when he started reporting on North Korea.
He has not been.
Given the same scrutiny that James Rosen have simply because.
David Sanger reports in a very sloppy way and a positive way towards -- it towards the administration.
James Rosen has not done that -- he didn't do that and they're the ones who are getting pressure.
I wanna get your reaction -- what Dana Milbank in the Washington Post -- and to treat a reporter as a criminal for doing his job seeking out information the government doesn't want to made public.
Deprives Americans of the First Amendment freedom on watch on which all other constitutional rights are based.
So if the administration is spying on reporters and accusing them of criminality just for asking questions.
Well who knows what else this crowd is capable of doing.
Well you know I am a member of the white house press corps member of the white house press association.
It took awhile for them to react but I gotta tell you I was in the basement in the White House when a lot of this broke and people were pretty outraged.
I'm not only is James Rosen didn't you know colleague of ours but between me AP and the James.
Rosen stuff it's frankly very chilling.
John policy -- -- from the top from the beginning of this administration from Robert Gibbs the first Press Secretary to David Axelrod has gotten on various network programs.
Fox News has been singled out as a special target not only of the White House one of the left generally.
Axle -- has said that this is not a legitimate news organization.
Robert Gibbs when he was Press Secretary mocked some of the questioners from the White House correspondent so I think that sends a certain message throughout the administration that fox can be a target.
I it was interesting because who accept this administration could unite both the far right and the far left.
Because in that the left basically came out with an article that said.
If would this have been done under bush or Reagan there would have been a lot of screaming.
Here here's what.
NBC reported Jim and I want to get your reaction to this they say that Eric Holder.
Signed off on a controversial search warrant that identified Fox News reporter James Rosen as a possible co conspirator.
In violation of the espionage -- and authorized seizure of his private emails.
-- I was back in 2010.
But in May of this year before the House Judiciary Committee Eric Holder said this.
With regard to the potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material that is not something I've ever been involved in heard.
Or would think would be wise policy.
That's Karl Rove right Fox's opinion on Friday said it would appear that holder misled the congress to help others to decide what -- what misleading exactly work out -- in terms of legal implications.
But he's said over and over again I recuse myself of course you couldn't find his refusal document of course is that is the rare lawyer.
That doesn't write things down keep records there are a lot of press questions that should be asked -- need to be answered we'll continue to keep an island next.
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