White House: McCain leak claim 'irresponsible'

The White House is denying claims by Republican Sen. John McCain that it orchestrated news leaks of classified information to boost President Barack Obama's re-election chances.

White House press secretary Jay Carney says any claim of leaks for political gain is "grossly irresponsible."

Referring to McCain by name, Carney says the Obama administration works to prevent leaks that could harm counterterrorism or intelligence operations. He spoke as Obama traveled to the West Coast on Wednesday.

McCain accuses the Obama administration of selectively leaking classified data, including on a computer virus attack on Iran.

McCain strongly objected to Carney's remarks Wednesday, saying it's hard to imagine the leaks serve any other purpose than to make "the president look strong and decisive on national security in the middle of his re-election campaign."