Axelrod on independent counsel for leaks: ‘We welcome anybody to look at anything’

Jay Carney aboard Air Force One says president would not support


Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod said Thursday that “we would welcome anybody to look at anything,” when asked about the possibility of an independent, special counsel investigation into the recent rash of national security leaks.

“I think that nobody benefits from leaks of classified material, and we would welcome anybody to look at anything,” Axelrod said, in the Wolf Blitzer interview.

BLITZER: You totally reject this notion that there have been these authorized leaks of classified information in order to help bolster the president’s chances to make him look strong.

AXELROD: I reject that, but the intimation is that the story is helpful to the president–

BLITZER: What story is helpful to the president?

AXELROD: that the stories that have been written have been helpful to the president. i’ll let other people judge that, but they’re certainly not—we’re not the source of those stories.

BLITZER: And this notion that John McCain wants a special counsel like Ken Starr to come in and start investigating?

AXELROD: I think nobody benefits from leaks of classified material. It shouldn’t happen. We would welcome anybody to look at anything.

White House press secretary Jay Carney, however, said Thursday the president would not support an independent counsel, during a press gaggle aboard Air Force One:

REPORTER: There have been calls from Congress for an independent counsel to investigate that. Is that something the president would agree to?

MR. CARNEY:  No. As I said, the president takes this very seriously. I refer you to agencies that are tasked with investigating these kinds of matter. And, again, this is something that the president insists that his administration take all appropriate and necessary steps to prevent leaks of classified information or sensitive information that could risk our counterterrorism operations.