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Reid Disappointed CIA Unrepentant, Backs Feinstein

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D- Nev., said he is disappointed that the CIA is showing no contrition for allegedly spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee, but he held off on calling for immediate Senate action.  

“I support [Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.,] unequivocally and I’m disappointed that the CIA is apparently unrepentant for what I understand they did,” Reid said after the weekly party lunches Tuesday. His comments come after Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, charged Tuesday morning that the agency spied on her committee’s computers in a possibly illegal search that has been referred to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution.  

Reid’s comments also come after CIA Director John O. Brennan subsequently denied the allegations .  

Asked if Brennan should resign, Reid said, “That’s not my decision.”  

He urged caution before taking any action.  

“Right now there are a lot of things going on here,” Reid said. “I think we should all just pause for a little bit, not very long, and find out where all this stuff leads.”  

The alleged spying has to do with an investigation the committee began in 2009 on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. Feinstein charged that the agency improperly searched committee computer files in connection with the investigation. Reid said he wants the findings of the investigation to be released.  

“We do know … at least I believe that to be the case, that the investigation that has been going on in the Intelligence Committee for years, dealing with torture, is about ready to come out,” Reid said. “I haven’t read it. But I think we should get that out and then find out what’s going on.”  

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declined to comment on the matter.  

“My understanding is that there is an investigation under way and I am not going to comment on an ongoing investigation,” McConnell said.

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