WASHINGTON — The Democratic leader of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Monday that the White House appears to be responsible for some leaks of classified information.
‘‘I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks,’’ Senator Dianne Feinstein told a World Affairs Council forum.
The California lawmaker said she was certain that President Obama, who receives a daily intelligence briefing, isn’t disclosing secret information, but she was uncertain about others at the White House.
Feinstein’s comments came as US officials said the number of people with access to some of the nation’s most carefully guarded secrets topped 4.86 million in 2011.
That is up from 4.7 million people granted security clearances the year before, probably reflecting new hires approved by Congress as part of expanded clandestine operations in the Obama administration.
Feinstein said her committee would meet Tuesday to craft legislation that would address the leaks of classified information, including additional authorities and rules to stop the leaks. Republicans have criticized the latest leaks, arguing that members of the Obama administration were intentionally leaking classified material to enhance the president’s reputation in an election year.