CBS News investigative journalist Catherine Herridge explained during an interview over the weekend what some of the classified codings mean that were on the sensitive government documents that investigators recovered from former President Donald Trump.
Herridge, who worked for years at Fox News covering stories that the mainstream media often downplayed, gave her analysis on Sunday during an interview with John Dickerson on “Face The Nation.”
“What jumps out to me, John, is when you go to the section the willful retention of national defense information, by my count, there are 21 top secret documents, and the disclosure of top secret information has the expectation of exceptionally grave damage to national security,” she said. “But what stands out to me is some of the classified codings, like TK, or Talent Keyhole.”
“You don’t see that very often,” she said. “That’s about intelligence from overhead imagery. For example, if we’re looking at a terrorist target, do we have such good visibility that we can count the hairs on their head? Can we see what they’re eating for breakfast on their terrorist patio? Those are capabilities that we don’t want our adversaries to know that we have.”
“And then also Special Access Programs, or SAP, these are highly restricted programs because of the sensitivity of the intelligence and the technology, such as stealth technology, for example,” Herridge continued. “Think of classified information like the Pentagon. Special Access Programs are these handful of rooms where there are just a limited number of keys to control and restrict access to that information.”
Herridge said that some of the materials recovered by investigators were “way beyond top secret” records.
“Some of these are way beyond top secret, like, I said, Talent Keyhole, when you’re talking about Special Access Programs or SCI, sensitive compartmentalized information,” she said. “These really are the crown jewels of the U.S. intelligence community.”
Herridge noted later on in the show that individuals who have the clearance to handle these types of documents will face immediate consequences if the documents are mishandled even for just a brief moment.
“I have contacts who work in the nuclear weapons capability arena,” she said. “Let’s say you have a nuclear document, it’s on top of the photocopier, and you walk away, you leave it there. Your clearance is gone. You are out the door. There are immediate consequences.”
“Some of these are way beyond top secret,” CBS News’ Senior Investigative Correspondent @CBS_Herridge says of 21 top secret documents laid out in 37-count indictment against former president Donald Trump, includes TK (Talent Keyhole) imagery intelligence, pic.twitter.com/OlRykmCdNG
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) June 11, 2023