In his enthusiasm to ask a burning question by President Donald Trump, Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) was left humiliated during a Senate hearing.
Hours before former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates were scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the Russian hacking scandal in the 2016 presidential election, Trump posted a tweet to urge his Republican cronies to question Yates on if she knows how “classified information got into the newspapers.”
Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2017
So, instead of focusing on Russia interference, the Republicans, at the behest of their petty president, asked Clapper how information of the incident kept leaking to news outlets.
“Gen. Clapper, have you ever leaked information, classified or unclassified, to the member of the press?” asked Kennedy.
“Not willingly or knowingly, as I said in my statement,” replied the former attorney general.
“Classified or unclassified?” pressed Kennedy, not knowing he was digging a hole for himself.
“Well, unclassified is not… is not leaking,” said Clapper with a hint of a smirk on his face.
At this obvious proclamation, the entire room burst into laughter and Kennedy was left stumbling on his words as he tried to rectify the situation.
But it was too late for him to keep his dignity.
Best, and dumbest question was from Kennedy: "Have you ever leaked classified or unclassified information?"#SallyYates— Dara de Brún (@DaraDeBrun) May 8, 2017
"Unclassified is not leaking." pic.twitter.com/GwH3mckSRe— Ira Madison III (@ira) May 8, 2017
Sen. John Kennedy after that attempted line of questioning pic.twitter.com/kwjxvsAo8R— Emily C. Singer (@CahnEmily) May 8, 2017
"Well, if it's not classified, it's not leaking." --James Clapper, shining a light on the idiot in Sen. Kennedy's mirror.— John Heaner (@JohnHeaner) May 8, 2017
Merriam-Webster, please tell Sen. Kennedy exactly what the word “unclassified” means.