Accused Pentagon leaker Jack Teixeira could not have acted alone — suggesting the 21-year-old is merely the patsy in a much wider intelligence breach, according to one of former-President Trump’s top national security aides.
“It’s just not possible” for a low-level Air National Guard information technology specialist like Teixeira to have access to the trove of highly sensitive US intelligence he allegedly revealed, according to Kash Patel, Trump’s former deputy director of national intelligence.
“You can be the biggest IT person in [the Department of Defense], and you are still compartmented off of the actual information,” Patel told Breitbart News Saturday.
“Almost never does an IT person need to know, as we say, the substance of the intelligence,” Patel, a onetime Pentagon chief of staff, told the conservative outlet. “Their job is to provide the secure information systems around it to protect any disclosures.”
“This is crazy sensitive stuff,” he said of the detailed data about Ukraine’s military planning that Teixeira is accused of posting online. “Ninety-nine percent of people who have a Top Secret/SCI clearance don’t have access to this information.”
Patel said he does not believe “for a single second” that “this guy — a 21-year-old Air National Guardsman — ran his operation alone.”
Instead, he said, the explosive revelations are likely part of “an Assange-style operation” — referring to the WikiLeaks founder who faces espionage charges for helping U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning steal classified diplomatic cables and military files.
“The way it was produced, the way it was put out there — pages, printed photographs taken, published online — that is a methodical way of releasing classified information illegally,” Patel said.
“I think he’s definitely working with other people in DOD or the intel space to get this information out,” he added — calling Teixiera’s Thursday arrest “an extensive cover-up.”
Heavily armed federal agents arrested Teixeira at his mother’s home in North Dighton, Mass. after he leaked dozens of sensitive US intelligence documents related to the Ukraine war through a Discord channel with 20 to 30 members.
Photos of the leaked documents first appeared in the “Thug Shakers Central” channel, where members shared their opinions about the war in Ukraine.
The classified documents from the Department of Defense, were marked “Top Secret” and “Secret,” contained detailed information about America’s espionage efforts against Russia, as well as secrets relating to South Korea and Israel.
Teixeira first began sharing descriptions of the classified documents in October before eventually dumping hundreds of the classified pages in the gaming channel.
He joined the Massachusetts Air National Guard in September 2019 and worked as a Cyber Transport Systems Journeyman, responsible for the upkeep of military communications hardware for the Air National Guard’s 102nd Intelligence Wing.