Sean Spicer says the CIA's 'systems are outdated and need to be updated' after Wikileaks reveals surveillance techniques

The White House Press Secretary was answering a question about Wikileaks allegedly revealing CIA’s surveillance techniques

Rachael Revesz
New York
Thursday 09 March 2017 20:04 GMT
Mr Spicer criticised the technology systems of the CIA
Mr Spicer criticised the technology systems of the CIA

Sean Spicer has said the Central Intelligence Agency’ systems are "outdated and need to be updated."

The White House Press Secretary’s comments came in response to question about documents released by Wikileaks which purported to reveal CIA surveillance techniques.

"As we’ve commented before there is grave concern that the President has about the release of national security and classed information that threatens and undermines our nation’s security," he said.

"Obviously he believes the systems at the CIA are outdated and need to be updated."

Mr Spicer added: "The situation, technology-wise at the CIA, the President has acknowledged, it needs to be updated."

His remarks follow allegations from his boss this week that former President Barack Obama illegally ordered Mr Trump to be "wiretapped".

The President also condemned leaks from US intelligence agencies to the media regarding alleged meetings and phonecalls between his aides and Russian operatives.

Yet Mr Trump previously encouraged Russia to hack the elections of Hillary Clinton during the campaign trail and praised the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.

"It's interesting how there's sort of a double standard with when the leaks occur, how much outrage there is," said Mr Spicer at a separate briefing earlier this week.

Julian Assange announces WikiLeaks will publish CIA cyber weapons

The CIA released a statement on 8 March to say it had no comment on the authenticity of the Wikileaks documents or on the status of any investigation into the source of the Wikileaks documents.

The statement noted that the CIA is “legally prohibited from conducting electronic surveillance targeting individuals here at home”, referring to the President’s claims he was wiretapped last year.

"The American public should be deeply troubled by any Wikileaks disclosure designed to damage the Intelligence Community’s ability to protect America against terrorists and other adversaries," the CIA statement read.

"Such disclosures not only jeopardise US personnel and operations, but also equip our adversaries with tools and information to do us harm."

When Mr Spicer was questioned this week on the hypocrisy of the President saying he "loved Wikileaks" during the campaign trail for targeting Ms Clinton’s emails and his condemning the same organisation for revealing CIA information, Mr Spicer said: "There is a big difference between disclosing Podesta — John Podesta's Gmail accounts about a back-and-forth and his undermining of Hillary Clinton and his thoughts on her on a personal nature, and the leaking of classified information."

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in