Updated at 5:14 p.m.: The Senate Intelligence Committee has announced that it will not be investigating anything said during Tuesday’s debate.
Staffers on the Senate Intelligence Committee are looking into whether Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) disclosed classified information during the debate, according to the committee chair.
“I’m having my staff look at the transcripts of the debate right now,” Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told reporters on Wednesday, according to The Hill. “Any time you deal with numbers… the question is ‘Is that classified or not?’ or is there an open source reference to it.”
While Rubio and Cruz were debating each other’s records on national security and surveillance, Cruz got into some details about what the bulk data program covers.
“What he knows is that the old program covered 20 percent to 30 percent of phone numbers to search for terrorists,” Cruz said, referring to Rubio. “The new program covers nearly 100 percent. That gives us greater ability to stop acts of terrorism, and he knows that that’s the case.”
It’s not clear if Cruz, who is unpopular with many of his Senate colleagues, revealed classified information. But in his response to Cruz, Rubio noted that he did not want to say too much about the program.
“Let me be very careful when answering this, because I don’t think national television in front of 15 million people is the place to discuss classified information,” Rubio said. “So let me just be very clear. There is nothing that we are allowed to do under this bill that we could not do before.”
And Roll Call noted that just after Cruz made that statement, Burr’s communications director indicated that the Texas senator said too much.
Cruz shouldn’t have said that.
— Becca Glover Watkins (@beccaglover) December 16, 2015
Burr said on Wednesday that he did not watch the debate himself.
Burr has asked staff to look into whether Cruz disclosed classified info last night. Burr didn’t watch #GOPDebate (“The Voice was on”)
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) December 16, 2015