CIA Director Brennan: Wrong On ISIS, Benghazi, Caliphate, But Right On Russian Hackers?

REUTERS/Gary Cameron.

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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CIA Director John Brennan’s analysts have reportedly concluded with “high confidence” that Russia interfered in the 2016 election explicitly to help President-elect Donald Trump.

Other officials in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the FBI have pushed back against the claim saying there is simply not enough evidence.

Brennan’s tenure has been marred by high-profile intelligence mishaps with the Islamic State and the 2012 Benghazi attacks.

Brennan claimed in 2011 it was unfathomable to think Islamic terrorists could create a caliphate in the Middle East. Brennan doubled down too, saying, “That vision is absurd, and we are not going to organize our counter-terrorist policies against a feckless delusion that is never going to happen.” Brennan served as chief counter-terrorism advisor to President Barack Obama at the time.

Various al-Qaida elements in Iraq formed the basis of the Islamic State terrorist group — ISIS — which now controls vast swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq. ISIS capabilities were “not on my intelligence radar screen,” Obama confirmed to CNN Dec. 7, as the would-be caliphate began sweeping across Iraq towards Mosul.

Today, U.S.-backed Iraqi Security Forces are battling ISIS in the city of Mosul, but have only killed “15 to 20 percent” of the fighters inside after two months of intense struggle.

Republican members of Congress also confirmed in 2013, that Brennan played a role in drafting the ill-fated talking points in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack for then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice. Rice famously claimed that the attack was a “spontaneous — not a premeditated” protest gone awry, based on evidence assembled for her by Brennan.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence repudiated Rice’s claim when it definitively found the Bengahzi attack was an act of terrorism.

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