WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Tuesday it will seek to determine how the identity of the CIA’s top spy in Afghanistan was exposed by the White House press office during President Barack Obama’s surprise visit to the country Sunday.
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough has instructed the president’s chief counsel, Neil Eggleston, to examine how the name ended up on a list of U.S. officials who met with Obama in Afghanistan, a document distributed to thousands.
Eggleston has been asked “to look into what happened and report back to (McDonough) with recommendations on how the administration can improve processes and make sure something like this does not happen again,” said Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council.
The move is an effort by the White House to assure members of the U.S. intelligence community, as well as the public, that it regards the inadvertent disclosure as a serious security breach.
The station chief leads the agency’s largest overseas operation, with hundreds of operatives, analysts and support personnel based in Afghanistan.