Intelligence compromises over the past five years, including the transfer of top-secret data on Hillary Clinton’s private email server, inflicted serious damage on U.S. national security, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Wednesday.
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R., Tex.), who has headed the committee since January, said the combined effect of disclosures to the anti-secrecy website Wikileaks, the theft of over a million National Security Agency secret documents by the renegade NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and now the potential loss of secrets from Clinton’s use of a private email system is helping American adversaries such as China, Russia, and the Islamic State.
“It has certainly helped our primary adversaries,” Thornberry said during a wide-ranging interview in his office at the Rayburn building.
The chairman said he believes the compromise of intelligence information over the past five years is “probably the most damaging thing that’s happened to U.S. national security.”
“Whether it was Wikileaks or Snowden or now the Hillary emails, we have done more to hurt ourselves than the Russians, the Chinese, the terrorists, or anybody else that you want to name.”
“This is serious business when you have top secret emails on a private server, and then you think it all goes away by saying ‘I’m sorry.’ It’s just… The damage to the country is just enormous when you put these compromises together.”