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CNN reporter shrugs off Biden classified docs scandal: 'Happens almost literally every day'

"CNN This Morning" ran a segment Thursday touting just how easy it is for government workers to accidentally lose classified documents. A reporter said it happens "every day."

CNN appeared to downplay the severity of the President Biden's classified document scandal this week, running a segment on supposedly just how common it is for government workers to misplace such sensitive material.

Appearing on "CNN This Morning" Thursday, reporter Katie Bo Lillis claimed that "spillage" of classified documents "happens almost literally every day." 

She also reported that the government has a problem with "over classification," suggesting that there are just too many classified documents to easily keep track of, much less keep protected.


Anchor Kaitlin Collins introduced the segment, saying, "This morning we have some new CNN reporting about how just common it could be for classified documents to be outside of the protected places and spaces they’re supposed to be in. Experts in this matter say that it is known as ‘classified spillage.’"

Before turning it over to Lillis, Collins added, "And in most cases, they’re simple mistakes that are not typically charged as crimes."

The CNN segment aired only days after yet another set of classified documents were discovered at President Joe Biden’s Delaware residence. This revelation occurred after Attorney General Merrick already established a special counsel investigation into a batch of classified documents previously found in the same location. 

During the segment, CNN's chyron declared, "Washington's Little Secret: ‘Spillage’ of Classified Info is Common."

Collins asked Lillis how common this type of classified document spillage is, and her answer was that it happens all the time.

The reporter replied, "Yeah Kaitlin, this kind of classified spillage happens almost literally every day. And most of the time it’s completely accidental – an employee accidentally takes home a classified document in a briefcase."


Lillis continued: "In one example that we were told, the employee found a classified document that had been accidentally attached to an unclassified travel itinerary. He slept with it under his pillow for a night, returned it the next day and that was that."

The reporter added that "most of these cases are dealt with administratively, internally with a simple conversation with a security officer at the agency in question." Lillis also mentioned more serious breaches might have more serious consequences, like removal of security clearances.

Moving on, the reporter noted the idea that this spillage happens frequently because the government just classifies too much information.

She told Collins, "But part of the reason this is so common, Kaitlin, is simply the law of large numbers. There are over four million security clearance holders floating around out there and some national security officials will also acknowledge that the U.S. government has a pretty big problem with over classification."

She added, "There are just millions and millions and millions of pieces of classified information, not all of which are exquisite."

Collins corroborated that last claim, stating, "Yeah I have heard that from so many officials – Democrats and Republicans talking about that, the idea of just basically everything being classified."

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