Former CIA Director John Brennan claimed this week President Trump revoked his security clearance as political retribution, a claim that got support from 60 former CIA officials. But according to one congressman at the time, when Brennan served as President Obama’s counter-terrorism advisor, the intelligence community thought differently of him.
New York Republican Rep. Peter King, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told this reporter in August 2010 that Brennan was derelict in providing accurate and timely intelligence to Congress, and as a result of Brennan being on the White House payroll, oversight was nearly impossible.
“Here’s the problem … and this is from people from the intelligence community too. John Brennan is running intelligence policy from the White House. He is getting in the weeds in different intelligence organizations that are out there,” King said.
“He’s doing this from the White House. Obviously, he is not subject to Congressional scrutiny, because he’s on the White House staff, and it’s a very dangerous situation, where you have a homeland security advisor who is beyond the reach of Congress actually making, running, and carrying on intelligence policy. It’s wrong. I’m not aware of it happening before.”
King admitted he did not get along with Brennan, but he gave examples of the issues Congress had with the Obama counter-terrorism advisor.
“I know for instance that the White House, when the TSA was changing their guidelines, I guess back in April right before Easter, they wanted to brief myself, Bennie Thompson, and [Joe] Lieberman and [Susan] Collins in advance, and the White House told them not to, and they leaked it instead to the New York Times, Washington Post,” he said.
King continued, “It had to be Brennan. Just an example on the arrogance. The fact that he withholds information on Fort Hood—Christmas day bombing delayed. And then he just gave a general briefing to Congress nothing to the Intelligence Committee.”
Additionally, King described the future CIA director’s job performance between the White House and Congress. According to the New York Republican, Brennan delivered erroneous information about the 2009 Christmas bombing to President Obama and Congress.
“I think John Brennan should be fired. I think John Brennan does not do a good job. I think he’s arrogant. He’s not doing a good job. As far as particulars, I believe he refers to Jerusalem by its Arabic name.”
“When he, again, tries to explain to wage jihad he plays semantic games with that, to me, he’s being an apologist,” he said, referring to a controversial speech about jihad that Brennan had made at NYU. “And going back to the Christmas bombing, all the information he gave on the bomber was wrong. All the information he gave to President Obama was wrong on that.”
Other members of Congress had issues with Brennan, including Democrats, who King noted were also “enraged” with the White House counter-terrorism advisor at the time. That outrage would only manifest itself much later in 2014 when Senate Democrats accused Brennan of lying about whether the CIA spied on Senate staffers’ computers.