GOP Sen. Cotton: Dems Confirmed Brennan As CIA Director, Also Had Ties To Interrogation Program


Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) points out that former CIA Director John O. Brennan was confirmed despite ties to interrogation programs that Democrats have denounced at the confirmation hearing for CIA Director-designate Gina Haspel.

SEN. COTTON: Exactly what I thought. Let's turn to the circumstances of what the counterterrorism center was doing the day that you were there. I think Senator Collins asked an excellent sequence of questions that got at many of these points; I just want to tie a bow on some of them.

This was -- these programs, or to the best of your understanding, approved by the commander in chief, legally approved by the attorney general and supported by the director of the CIA, who I point out at the time, was the former Democratic staff director of this committee. Is that correct?

GINA HASPEL: That's correct, senator.

COTTON: You said that you were not a senior manager when those programs were created, is that correct?

HASPEL: That's correct.

COTTON: Was John Brennan a member of the senior intelligence service and the deputy executive director, at the time a senior manager in your opinion?

HASPEL: Senator, I believe Mr. Brennan was the deputy extern (ph) of the agency at that time.

COTTON: And you'd consider that a senior manager position at the CIA?

HASPEL: I believe it's a number four position.

COTTON: For John Brennan, who was confirmed to be the CIA director by the following members of this committee, Senator Warner, Senator Feinstein, Senator Heinrich, Senator Collins, Senator King, Senator Burr, Manchin, Senator Wyden, and Senator Rubio.

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