Senate Intelligence Chair Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chair Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have released a statement saying that the committee is not investigating any claims from Tuesday night’s Republican debate. Senator Burr had told reporters early Wednesday morning that his staff was looking into whether presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) had given away classified information in the debate.
During a back-and-forth between the two, presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) implied that Cruz was revealing classified information. The two were discussing the NSA collection of metadata and Cruz said, “What he [Rubio] knows is that the old program covered 20 percent to 30 percent of phone numbers to search for terrorists. The new program covers nearly 100 percent. That gives us greater ability to stop acts of terrorism, and he knows that that’s the case.”
Rubio responded by saying, “I don’t think national television, in front of 15 million people, is the place to discuss classified information.”
Rubio is a member of the Intelligence community and would know this statistic while Cruz is not a member.
“The question had been raised, therefore I asked [committee staff] to look at it and see if there was any validity to it,” Burr told reporters. He explained, “Anytime you deal with numbers, and I think it dealt with numbers, the question is, is that classified or not?”
Burr for his part did not even watch the debate. “The Voice was on. It was the final episode.”