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Sanger Has 'Doubts' Leaks Were Politically Motivated Sanger Has 'Doubts' Leaks Were Politically Motivated

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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / Sunday Shows

Sanger Has 'Doubts' Leaks Were Politically Motivated

President Barack Obama speaks at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 15, 2012, during a ceremony honoring the 2011 Major League Soccer champion LA Galaxy soccer team. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

photo of Alexandra  Jaffe
June 10, 2012

David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent for the New York Times, doesn't believe the Obama administration willingly leaked sensitive national security information to reporters for political gain.

"I have my doubts about that," he said on CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday, when asked whether the administration wanted Sanger's story on cyberwarfare against Iran to get out to the public.

Sanger's New York Times article is one of several recent articles on Obama's foreign policy decisions that were based in part on high-level intelligence obtained by reporters. The spate of leaks has led some to question whether the White House orchestrated the release of information to boost Obama's prospects in an election year. 

Lawmakers in both parties have called for investigations, and the Justice Department on Friday announced the start of two criminal probes, bringing praise from top lawmakers on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

Sanger said that he didn't believe the White House had purposely orchestrated the leaks.

"I have my doubts about that for several reasons. First of all, this was 18 months of reporting, long before the political season started," he said. "Secondly, when you're running a cyber warfare campaign, you're doing it as a covert program, I think there are probably a lot of people who didn't necessarily want that out."

Sanger did affirm, though, that he had spoken to administration officials for his story and his book, Confront and Conceal, about Obama's foreign policy evolution.

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