AZC - Long before today’s political mayhem, I came across a top secret document on a table in Joe Biden’s VP White House office. The red warning on the cover caught my attention but my eyes drifted to the then-vice president’s keepsakes. Minutes after our interview ended, the classified document caused a minor skirmish in the West Wing.
A year into his vice presidency, Biden had agreed to a White House interview with The (Wilmington) News Journal, his hometown paper. Fred Comegys, a national photographer of the year, got the assignment. An hour and a half into the interview, Elizabeth Alexander, Biden’s press secretary, wrapped things up. When finished, we were led to an anteroom and out to a hallway that skirts the Roosevelt Room on its way to the Brady press briefing room.
As we neared the exit, notebooks full of Bidenisms, Carney rushed up. Guys with ear pieces appeared. A Panasonic recorder in my hand clicked on.
Carney had seen the classified document on the table, and he knew we had seen it too. Fred might have been walking out with photos of classified information. Top secret documents must be handled under strict protocols, stored and viewed only in secure rooms
Carney demanded Fred’s camera.
We said no.
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