Senate committee won’t investigate Cruz comments for classified information

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The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence says it is not launching an investigation to determine whether comments made by presidential candidate Ted Cruz during Tuesday night’s debate contained classified information.

Committee chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chairman Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) clarified in a brief statement that no investigation was underway, even though Burr had told reporters just hours earlier that his staff was looking into the comments made by Cruz. “The Committee is not investigating anything said during last night’s Republican presidential debate,” the senators said in the joint statement.

The controversy began when Cruz made a comment about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs during an exchange with Senator Marco Rubio.

“[Rubio knows] that the old program covered 20 percent to 30 percent of phone numbers to search for terrorists. The new program covers nearly 100 percent,” he said. Rubio responded to the remarks by saying that national television was not “the place to discuss classified information.”

A spokeswoman for Burr sent out a tweet after the exchange, saying “Cruz shouldn’t have said that.” Burr himself told reporters on Wednesday morning that he had asked his staff to look into the comments, though he stopped short of saying that an investigation had been launched.

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