Gowdy decries leaks out of Coats meeting with House intelligence
Washington (CNN)Rep. Trey Gowdy on Thursday warned his fellow lawmakers about leaking information from closed briefings.
Leaking will result in “a chilling effect on other witnesses who want to share classified, sensitive information when it makes its way to the headlines before the transcript’s even dry,” the South Carolina Republican told CNN’s Erin Burnett on “OutFront” Thursday.
His comments came after CNN’s report that Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers met individually last week with the Senate intelligence committee in two closed briefings that were described to CNN by Democratic and Republican congressional sources.
During their meetings with Senate investigators, and in separate sessions with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, the two intelligence officials said President Donald Trump suggested they say publicly there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians.
Gowdy confirmed to Burnett Thursday that Coats met with the House intelligence committee. He said there were eight people in the room during the meeting, but did not elaborate on what was discussed.
Instead, he warned those present against sharing classified information.
“About eight hours ago, Adam Schiff and I looked Dan Coats in the eyes and we assured him that there would be no selective leaking of his testimony to us,” Gowdy told CNN.” “And I’ll be damned if eight hours later there aren’t three different leaks with what he told us. So if anyone is questioning why congressional investigations aren’t taken seriously, and are viewed as political exercises, you need to look no further than the fact that we looked one of our intelligence officials in the eyes and promised him there would be no selective leaking. And here I’m being asked about it, not even eight hours later.”
Gowdy added that though the investigation is ongoing, no one should draw conclusions about its findings until farther down the road.
“I would hope no one was drawing conclusions from anything,” he said. “That’s what you do at the end of an investigation, not in the front.”
Trump has said repeatedly that no collusion occurred between his campaign and Russians.
“After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my ‘collusion with the Russians,’ nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!” he tweeted on June 16.