01/23/2014 12:50 pm ET

NY Times' Jill Abramson: 'This Is The Most Secretive White House...I Have Ever Dealt With'


In a new interview with Al Jazeera America, New York Times editor Jill Abramson called the Obama administration "the most secretive" she has ever had to contend with.

Speaking to the network's John Seigenthaler, Abramson pointed to the administration's unprecedented number of leak investigations:

It is the most secretive White House that I have ever been involved in covering...I dealt directly with the Bush White House when they had concerns that stories we were about to run put the national security under threat. But, you know, they were not pursuing criminal leak investigations. The Obama administration has had seven criminal leak investigations. That is more than twice the number of any previous administration in our history. It's on a scale never seen before. This is the most secretive White House that, at least as a journalist, I have ever dealt with.

She added that the decision to be so aggressive towards the press "would have to" come directly from President Obama himself.

Abramson has spoken out against the Obama administration's handling of the press before. In June of 2013, as the White House was reeling from the revelation of the Justice Department's surveillance of reporters, she said she was "concerned that the process of news gathering is being criminalized."

She has also defended the paper repeatedly from charges that its reporting is jeopardizing national security.

(h/t Politico)