CIA Calls ABC Report That It Refused To Brief Congress On Fort Hood Suspect Bogus

ZUMA Press/Newscom

The CIA is denying an ABC News report that the agency has refused to brief Congress on any knowledge it has about Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army major suspected in the shootings at Fort Hood last week.

“This is a law enforcement investigation, in which other agencies — not the CIA — have the lead. Any suggestion that the CIA refused to brief Congress is flat wrong,” CIA spokesman George Little tells TPMmuckraker in a statement.

ABC’s Richard Esposito, Matthew Cole, and Brian Ross quoted an anonymous senior lawmaker as saying “the CIA had, so far, refused to brief the intelligence committees on what, if any, knowledge they had about Hasan’s efforts.”It’s not clear if the CIA statement intends a distinction in its reference to “Congress” rather than “intelligence committees.” Our calls to the House and Senate intel panels seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Citing two unnamed officials, the ABC piece reports that intel agencies were aware “months ago” that Hasan was “attempting to make contact with people associated with al Qaeda.” ABC does not provide any details on what form these attempts took, or who Hasan was trying to contact.

Late Update: The phrase “one senior lawmaker” in the ABC story has now been changed to read “Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI)” — though it’s not clear whether Hoekstra was the original unnamed lawmaker.

ABC reports:

Hoekstra said he is “absolutely furious” that the house intel committee has been refused an intelligence briefing by the DNI or CIA on Hasan’s attempt to reach out to al Qaeda, as first reported by ABC News.

Hoekstra’s spokesman on the House intel panel did not immediately respond to our request for comment.