President Obama said Friday he stands by and has “full confidence” in CIA Director John Brennan, the day after an inspector general report revealed CIA personnel inappropriately accessed Senate staffers’ computers.
I have full confidence in John Brennan. I think he has acknowledged and directly apologized to Sen. Feinstein that CIA personnel did not properly handle an investigation as to how certain documents that were not authorized to be released to the Senate staff got somehow into the hands of the Senate staff. And it’s clear from the IG report that some very poor judgment was shown in terms of how that was handled. Keep in mind, though, that John Brennan was the person who called for the IG report. He’s already stood up a task force to make sure that lessons are learned and that mistakes are resolved.
The IG report concluded that five CIA employees accessed computers used by Senate committee staffers working on a report about CIA rendition, detention, and interrogation (RDI) practices.
The response to the disclosure has been very sharp. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a hawk, is reportedly asking for Brennan to step down. Democratic Sens. Mark Udall and Martin Heinrich have also both called for Brennan’s resignation.