Sanders: I No Longer Want To Abolish The CIA, But "I Have A Lot Of Problems" With Their Activities

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CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: All right. So, now I know this was a while ago, but it has been reported that in 1974 you said the CIA is a dangerous institution that has "got to go." You went on to say the CIA was accountable to no one except "right-wing lunatics who use it to prop up fascist dictatorships."

Do you stand by those comments that you said back then?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: No, I don't.

That was 40 years ago.

Since then I've served as eight years as mayor of the city of Burlington. I spent 16 years in the House and nine years in the United States Senate.

But let me tell you this, I do have concerns about past activities of the CIA. CIA was involved in the overthrow of a gentleman named Mohammad Mosaddegh way back when in Iran, overthrew him on behalf of British oil.

And you know what happened? That led to the Iranian Revolution and we are where we are today.

The CIA was involved in the overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile, a democratic candidate, he won a fair election, the CIA overthrew him.

So I have a lot problems with some parts of our history, which continues, by the way, to the present.

CUOMO: But the institution itself of the CIA?

SANDERS: Oh, the CIA plays an important role. But have they done things which they should not have done on behalf of the United States government? Absolutely.

CUOMO: OK. Now, in the headlines, today the Obama administration released its plan for closing Guantanamo. Now you've said this is a good plan. Part of the plan involves the Naval brig here in South Carolina, in Charleston that one day could house detainees.

I'm sure there is concern in the audience tonight about some of the worst people in the world being in their backyard. Why is that OK?

SANDERS: What is OK is, look, we look like hypocrites and fools to the entire world. What we have done is locked up people in a way that is causing all kinds of repercussions around the world.

People say, oh, you're a democratic society, we have locked people up in an island. And I think that has hurt us all over the world.

Obviously if people are terrorists, they need to be confined, and we need to make sure they stay in jail until whatever happens. But I think the president is right. I think we should shut down Guantanamo. I think in the long run it will help us significantly.

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