US President Joe Biden spoke for the first time on Thursday about the apparent leak of a cache of purportedly classified military documents, as details emerged of a military base employee who may have first posted the papers online.
“I’m concerned that it happened. But there’s nothing contemporaneous that I’m aware of that’s of great consequence,” Biden said. “There’s a full-blown investigation going on, as you know, with the intelligence community and the Justice Department, and they’re getting close.”
Images of the documents have circulated on social media platforms for weeks and sparked an uproar since being published by news outlets in recent days.
Dozens of photographs of documents have been found on Twitter, Telegram, Discord and other sites in recent days, though some may have circulated online for weeks, if not months, before they began to receive media attention.
The breach has sparked a criminal investigation by the US justice department and Biden, on a visit to Ireland, said he was concerned about the leak.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said the national security implications are being reviewed.
She said the administration urged social media companies to “avoid facilitating” the distribution of such material.
“We do believe that social media companies have a responsibility to their users and to the country to manage the private sector infrastructure that they create and now operate,” she told reporters traveling with Biden.
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