WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The leak of classified information was a “deliberate, criminal act,” the Pentagon said on Thursday.

Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder referred questions about the investigation to the Department of Justice.

Ryder added the Pentagon had taken steps to review distribution lists and ensure that people receiving information had a need to know.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali and Kanishka Singh; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Chris Reese)