CIA Director John Brennan on Tuesday said that allegations made by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that the Central Intelligence Agency hacked into a Senate committee computer network were “beyond the scope of reason.”
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Brennan told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell at a Council on Foreign Relations event about Feinstein’s claims.
In a floor speech on Tuesday, Feinstein said she had “grave concerns that the CIA’s search may well have violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the U.S. Constitution.” The CIA provided the computer to Senate committee staffers in CIA headquarters so that they could review top-secret documents for their investigation into the CIA’s interrogation practices under the Bush administration.
Brennan said that he tried to work “as collaboratively as possible” with the Senate committee, and that he welcomes congressional oversight of the agency. He said that while he does not always agree with the Senate committee’s conclusions, the CIA has not tried to thwart the committee’s investigation.
“I would just encourage members of the Senate to take their time to make sure that they don’t overstate what they claim,” he said about the spying allegations.
When asked by Mitchell whether he would step down as director if Feinstein’s allegations prove to be true, Brennan said it was up to President Obama.
“He is the one who can ask me to stay or to go,” Brennan said.