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CIA Director Brennan Denies Hacking Allegations

A Conversation with John O. Brennan

Speaker: John O. Brennan, Director, Central Intelligence Agency
Presider: Andrea Mitchell, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, NBC News
March 11, 2014

Event Description

CIA Director John Brennan discusses the current challenges facing the intelligence community in a conversation with Andrea Mitchell of NBC News. Brennan denies that the CIA is trying to prevent the Senate Intelligence Committee from publishing the results of their investigation into the agency's controversial rendition, detention, and interrogation program. He also gives his perspective on the ongoing crises in Ukraine and Syria and the fallout from the Edward Snowden leaks.

Event Highlights

John Brennan on the allegations that the CIA may have searched and removed classified documents from computers belonging to Senate Intelligence Committee staff members:

"As far as the allegations of CIA hacking into Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth. I mean, we wouldn't do that. I mean, that's—that's just beyond the scope of reason in terms of what we would do."

John Brennan on whether Bashar al-Assad is likely to remain in power in Syria:

"Well, certainly I believe that Assad probably feels more confident as a result of some developments on the battlefield over the last year. I think initially, the forces were sort of struck pretty hard by the insurgency, and by the oppositionists. You know, Syria is a real army. It's been trained and equipped and outfitted by Russians for decades, and so, I mean, this is a large conventional military force with tremendous firepower. And I think the opposition deserves a fair amount of credit for staying in the game and bloodying the Assad military machine as much as it has."

John Brennan on the Russian intervention in Ukraine:

"And so is it possible—does Russia have the capability to move into eastern Ukraine? Absolutely, they do, but I think what President Putin and others are doing right now is trying to determine exactly what they believe they need to do, as well as what they're willing to do, in light of such international condemnation of the Russian moves, whether or not they need to move in to Ukraine proper in order to protect their interests."

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