A top House Republican on Sunday rejected President Obama's claim that recent security leaks did not come from the White House, accusing the president of using the leaks -- which detailed the administration's counterterror programs -- to "build up his reputation" before November.
"He's trying to be like George Patton or John Wayne," Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told Fox News.
The gloves-off accusations from the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee follow Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to appoint two U.S. attorneys to investigate possible unauthorized leaks of classified information.
Since that announcement Friday, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called on the prosecutors to get to the bottom of recent newspaper stories that contained sensitive information on top-secret programs.
They included reports on the campaign of cyber-warfare against Iran, the U.S. drone program and a foiled terror plot from an Al Qaeda affiliate.
Obama on Friday assailed as "offensive" and "wrong" the idea that his White House would "purposely release" classified security information.
But King, speaking with Fox News, said the leaks had to have come from the president's inner circle.
"This is the most shameful cascade of leaks I've ever heard or seen in government," he said. "It's clear from those stories this came right from the White House, came right from the National Security Council, came right from the Situation Room. ... It has to lead to people very high up in the administration in his White House."