No New Calls For CIA Director's Resignation

Image: No New Calls For CIA Director's Resignation CIA Director John Brennan. (Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Landov)

Monday, 04 Aug 2014 10:14 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Embattled CIA Director John Brennan's future was up for debate on the weekend talk shows over disclosures that his agency tapped into computers used by Senate staffers to conduct a five-year probe of CIA enhanced interrogation practices, but nobody else said he should step down.

But that doesn't mean Brennan should consider his job safe, as some lawmakers questioned his future with the agency while others defended his actions, The Washington Post reported.

"I think he should view his position as in real jeopardy," Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, said Sunday, according to the Post. "I think he's in a very deep hole."

Brennan has apologized after an internal agency report that showed the employees actions, noted Georgia Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who gave the CIA director an unexpected pat on the back on CBS' "Face the Nation"

Chambliss said that he voted against the Senate report when it was approved five years ago, and he still opposes it, but he does believe Brennan's claims that he did not know until recently the Senate staffers' computers were breached.

Last week, Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall declared that he had "no choice" but to call for Brennan's resignation after the news went public about the CIA's activities.

But Brennan has said he did not know what was going on with the computers, and Chambliss said Sunday that the director may not be to blame.

"You have to remember, I did not support John Brennan's nomination to be the director of the CIA," Chambliss said. "If he has a critic, it is me."

The computer spying, though, is "very, very serious" Chambliss said, adding if he and other lawmakers thought Brennan knew about it beforehand, "we would be calling for his resignation."

However, Chambliss said that the actual CIA employees who broke into the Senate computers should be fired, not Brennan, who he thinks "has done a really good job" as CIA director.

Meanwhile, Maine Independent Angus King told CNN's "State of the Union" that Brennan's apology is not enough concerning the "shocking" accusations against his employees and "serious discussions" are warranted.

"I'm not calling for his resignation, but I'm pretty skeptical right now because it has really undermined the trust between the committee" and the CIA, King said. "This is serious stuff."

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who was also on CNN Sunday morning, denied there is a "conspiracy notion," surrounding the CIA's activities, but added that some employees "overstepped their bounds."

"I don't think it should be taken and extrapolated that every CIA officer was operating under this culture of lawlessness," Rogers said. "I would be cautious to say that they're rotten to the core."

Rogers said he is not certain laws were broken because the computers were not owned by the Senate, but instead by the CIA itself, and he's not sure the workers' intent was to spy on senators.

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