After Claiming He Couldn’t ‘Imagine’ The CIA ‘Would Mislead Us,’ Boehner Acknowledges They May Have

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"After Claiming He Couldn’t ‘Imagine’ The CIA ‘Would Mislead Us,’ Boehner Acknowledges They May Have"

Last week, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) asserted in a press conference that she believed the CIA had misled her in a briefing on interrogation, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) scoffed at the idea that the CIA could have been dishonest. “It’s hard for me to imagine that anyone in the intelligence areas would mislead us,” said Boehner in his own press conference.

But on CNN today, Boehner acknowledged that members of his own party, such as Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), have previously accused the CIA of lying to Congress. Pressed by Wolf Blitzer, Boehner did not disagree with Hoekstra’s allegation that the CIA lied to Congress in a previous case:

BOEHNER: Pete Hoekstra did say that. And the Inspector General at the CIA did an investigation and it became clear that some CIA operatives did in fact cover this up. This is not, we’re talking about two different issues here. All the facts in this case are on the table and the truth is now known to all, to everyone.

BLITZER: So, based on what you know on that case involving Hoekstra, the case he was interested in. Do you agree that the CIA then lied to Congress?

BOEHNER: I know as much about this case as Pete Hoekstra does and the Inspector General did in fact do an investigation, produced a report and frankly supported, I think, Pete’s claims.

Watch it:

As Boehner’s acknowledgment makes clear, the idea that the CIA could potentially mislead Congress is not beyond the realm of possibility. In fact, in a speech today, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, argued that “the CIA has a very bad record when it comes…to honesty. It goes back a long time.” He supported his point by citing “a handful of examples in the past where the CIA has withheld key information from Congress.”

Transcript:

BLITZER: Last year, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, he said this in response to a case that he was watching very closely, an American citizen who was killed in a plane crash, a cover up-alleged involving the CIA. He said these words: “We cannot have an intelligence community that covers up what it does and then lies to Congress.” That’s what Pete Hoekstra said in 2008.

BOEHNER: Pete Hoekstra did say that. And the Inspector General at the CIA did an investigation and it became clear that some CIA operatives did in fact cover this up. This is not, we’re talking about two different issues here. All the facts in this case are on the table and the truth is now known to all, to everyone.

BLITZER: So, based on what you know on that case involving Hoekstra, the case he was interested in. Do you agree that the CIA then lied to Congress?

BOEHNER: I know as much about this case as Pete Hoekstra does and the Inspector General did in fact do an investigation, produced a report and frankly supported, I think, Pete’s claims. And all we’re trying to do here in both cases is to get to the bottom, and get to the truth. And it’s the truth that we want here. And the fact is is that CIA director Panetta issued a very strong letter to Speaker Pelosi, making it clear that in his opinion they did not mislead her or lie to her. And so I want to either see the documents or see the speaker apologize.

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