WATCH: Spicer says Trump believes CIA systems are ‘outdated’
White House press secretary Sean Spicer says President Donald Trump has “grave concern” about the release of classified material and believes the systems at the CIA are outdated.
Spicer was responding Thursday to questions during a news briefing about WikiLeaks’ disclosure of thousands of documents that it says reveals details of the CIA’s cyberespionage toolkit.
The disclosure by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is expected to be discussed at the president’s meeting later Thursday with CIA Director Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY’-oh).
Spicer wouldn’t comment on the documents released, but he says Trump thinks the CIA’s systems need updating.
Spicer also denounced Assange for his previous release of classified material, saying he has undermined U.S. national security in the past. Spicer says he leaves it to the Justice Department to comment on its “disposition of him.”
He also discussed Congress’ efforts to pass health care legislation.
“He has compromised, in the past, and undermined our national security,” Spicer said about Assange, who held his own online press briefing earlier in the day on the release of CIA documents.
On Congress’ overnight sessions on the health care bill and how some lawmakers are still opposed to the administration’s proposal, Spicer said, “We believe that the more we talk about the comprehensive three-pronged approach … is going to bring people on board.”
The White House also said President Donald Trump was unaware that former national security adviser Michael Flynn was being paid to act on behalf of a foreign government when he was chosen for his key post in January.
Spicer said Trump had no knowledge Flynn lobbied for a company with ties to Turkey’s government.
Trump fired Flynn last month for misleading administration officials about his conversations with Russian officials.
Flynn filed paperwork Tuesday identifying himself as a foreign agent with the Justice Department, acknowledging that his work for the Dutch-based firm Inovo BV could have aided Turkey’s government.
In the filings, Flynn acknowledged meeting with Turkey’s foreign minister and other officials.