House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) blasted the media Friday for reporting on U.S. intelligence leaks.
The powerful lawmaker flashed annoyance at reports this week claiming the United States provided intelligence to Ukrainian military forces to assist them in killing Russian military leaders and sinking the flagship Moskva in the Black Sea, both of which elicited denials from the Pentagon.
"As a person involved in intelligence for more than 25 years in the Congress, the first person in the leadership to have a security credential, I am very concerned about newspapers reporting if I don't confirm or deny what that report is — but I don't think it's helpful to have that kind of reporting," Pelosi told Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC's Deadline: White House.
"I say that with all of the respect in the world, and I protected the rights of — of the press to be protected when they put information out there, that the burden of proof has to be on the government to prove them harmful in any event," she added. "But I don't think it's helpful to say — whether it's true or not, I can't confirm. But what I do know, it's not helpful."
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The U.S. has provided military and humanitarian aid as well as training to Ukrainians on how to use some heavy artillery, all on top of sanctions against Russia, but also has sought to walk a line to avoid Russian President Vladimir Putin escalating the conflict.
Pelosi made a surprise trip to Kyiv last weekend and met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The California Democrat said the delegation she led was "very, of course, impressed" by Zelensky. Pelosi also noted that the Ukrainian leader "autographed my flag, which I had — which I was given by many of the grassroots people with their thanks and friendship and that, and he signed it."