At a press conference Tuesday, Republican senators were having nothing of it. Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona quoted an extended excerpt from New York Times reporter David Sanger’s recent book, "Confront and Conceal," that reports senior White House intelligence officials disclosing intelligence relating to Iran’s nuclear program.
“Obviously the notion that his White House would purposely release classified national information is ‘offensive’ is contradicted by the facts,” Senator McCain said. Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the Senate intelligence committee’s top-ranking Republican, said one covert action program revealed in Mr. Sanger’s book was so protected that it was news to the intelligence world’s congressional overseers.
“We as members of the Intelligence Committee can't even confirm whether these programs exist, and yet you have the national security adviser talking about a covert action program" to a reporter, Senator Chambliss said.