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Senate Democrats Press McDonough on CIA Torture Report

McDonough, right, was under pressure from Senate Democrats during a private meeting Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
McDonough, right, was under pressure from Senate Democrats during a private meeting Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee pressed White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on Thursday to allow pseudonyms to be released in a summary of a panel report on CIA interrogation abuses.  

“The report would be a pseudo report if we didn’t allow the pseudonyms,” said Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., who is on the panel.  

Udall’s comments came after Democrats met for more than three hours with McDonough. But the entire meeting was not spent on the topic of the report, Udall said.  

Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and other Democrats on the panel, including Udall, have been negotiating with the White House on a redacted summary of the report, which they hope to release to the public.  

“I asked the chief of staff to take another look at this for me with the president,” said Udall, who lost his re-election bid to Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo.  

But Udall said he was unsure if the meeting would lead to any breakthroughs.  

“I remain optimistic; that is my permanent state, but there were no commitments to meet us at what I think is more than a halfway point,” Udall said.  

“The president has said the right things, has done the right things in ending the rendition and torture program. It’s important the report come out; it’s important that the truth come out,” Udall said.  

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who is also on the panel, declined to comment on what happened in the meeting with McDonough, but reiterated his concern about releasing the executive summaries with all the pseudonyms redacted.  

“The request to black out all the pseudonyms is unprecedented going back to the Church Commission, Iran Contra, Abu Gharaib, it just goes on and on.”  

“Without the pseudonyms, you can’t tell how it happened.”  

Feinstein said this week that she expects the report to be released before Republicans take over the chamber in January.  

Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.
Correction 11:21 a.m. An earlier version of this report misspelled McDonough’s name.  


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