White House Explanation Over AP Phone Records Disappointing: National Press Club

Category: Politics / May 17, 2013 12:49PM EDT

The U.S. National Press Club (NPC) said they are unsatisfied with the responses given by the White House over the allegation of Associated Press's (AP) phone records seizure by the Justice Department.

Angela Greiling Keane, president of the NPC, expressed her concerns over the freedom of the press guaranteed by the First Amendment.

"It is something we've had in this country for more than two centuries. It is something that journalists hold near and dear, and it is very important that we have a free press in the United States. And actions like this make the press worry that things may not be as free as we always expected them to be," said Angela Greiling Keane.

The NPC is a private journalist club founded in 1908, with membership covering journalists from America's influential media and government information sources.

The phone records seizure controversy broke out on Monday. The AP said more than 20 phone number-records spanning two months, used by AP reporters and offices in Washington D.C., New York and Connecticut, were secretly subpoenaed by the Justice Department.

The White House said on a Tuesday news press that they have no idea about the action taken by the Justice Department.

Angela Greiling Keane said she is unsatisfied with the answer.

"They can claim that they didn't know anything, but that's where the responsibility ultimately lies, for either providing answers or compelling those who are the ones that really know the details to provide those answers," she said.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday said an AP story last May about a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operation in Yemen that crashed down an al-Qaeda terror plot is a serious leak of classified information of national security.

The White House responded that a careful balance must be attained between the protection of journalism and national security.


(Video Source: REUTERS)