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Romney Advisor Who Hit Obama On Leaks Was Involved In Scooter Libby Scandal

Special advisor Eric Edelman sent out a statement today attacking the White House over national security leaks. Not the ideal point man: Edelman was the first to suggest leaking info about Joe Wilson’s CIA-sponsored trip to Niger in 2003 when he served as Scooter Libby’s deputy in the Bush White House.

Eric Edelman in 2006. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Mitt Romney’s campaign might have chosen the wrong ally to back up his attack today on President Obama for leaking national security secrets.

Shortly after the candidate’s speech in Reno, Nevada, the Romney campaign sent out a press release citing former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman, who is listed as an Romney campaign advisor.

“The suggestion by Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, that the White House was behind recent leaks of highly classified secrets, highlights the urgent need for change” Edelman said in the statement.

Edelman, however, was implicated in the country’s last major national security leak investigation — the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame — during his time in the Bush administration.

Edelman served under former Vice President Dick Cheney in the 1990s. From February 2001 to June 2003, he worked as Principal Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs, where he served directly under former Cheney aide Scooter Libby. According to the Justice Department, Edelman, identified as “Principal Deputy” in Scooter Libby’s indictment, originally suggested the idea to Libby to start leaking information about Joe Wilson’s trip to Niger.

The week after Edelman’s conversation with Libby, the Cheney aide infamously told New York Times reporter Judith Miller that Wilson’s wife might work for the CIA.

Edelman ended his work in Cheney’s office under Libby in July of 2003 and was named the US Ambassador to Turkey. Cheney swore him into office.

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Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at andrew.kaczynski@buzzfeed.com
 
 
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