The White House has launched an investigation into the apparent inadvertent disclosure of the identity of the CIA’s top official in Afghanistan on Sunday.
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough asked new White House Counsel Neil Eggleston to look into the release of the official’s name, which was included on a list of names participating in a military briefing with President Barack Obama during his trip to Afghanistan on Sunday. That list was subsequently emailed to thousands of reporters.
“The Chief of Staff has asked the White House Counsel, Neil Eggleston, to look into what happened and report back to him with recommendations on how the Administration can improve processes and make sure something like this does not happen again,” White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement Tuesday.
The official was listed as the “Chief of Station.” The individual’s name, which was originally provided to only the press travelling with the president, was then included on a “pool report” — one reporter’s summary of the event that is passed on to all press on the White House media list, including those not on the trip.
That list includes more than 6,000 recipients. The official’s name has not been widely broadcast and Business Insider is withholding their name.
The White House’s mistake was noted by Washington Post reporter Scott Wilson, who was the pool reporter for Obama’s trip. He pointed out the apparent mistake to White House officials, who told Wilson they assumed the list was suitable for publication because it was provided by the military.
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