The White House commented on the latest scandal-fodder on Monday by distancing themselves as much as possible from the news that the Department of Justice secretly snagged two months of phone records from a bunch of Associated Press journalists.
Here's the Monday evening statement from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney:
Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the AP. We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department. Any questions about an ongoing criminal investigation should be directed to the Department of Justice.
Considering that Buzzfeed's Ben Smith has already responded to the news with a rant that employs both a Foucauldian headline and a gif of Barack Obama's face turning into Nixon's face, it's doubtful that the White House will have an easy time selling their non-involvement in this one to an obviously livid press.
In case you missed it, the Associated Press announced Monday afternoon that phone records from the news organization's offices in DC, New York, and Hartford, Conn. had been secretly obtained by the Department of Justice, possibly as part of an investigation to find out the source of a leak. The DOJ informed the AP of the acquisition on Friday, via a letter that the AP hasn't yet released. Given the timing of the acquired records, it looks like the DOJ investigation probably has to do with a May 2012 article revealing the CIA's foiling of an al-Qaeda bomb plot. The Atlantic Wire's Phillip Bump has a thorough rundown of what we know so far.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.