Accuracy in Media

Politico defended former CIA Director John Brennan with fake news, falsely claiming that Brennan had not been accused of lying to Congress when in fact he has.

In a piece biasedly headlined “Trump’s quest for vengeance against John Brennan,” Politico falsely reported: “Asked for comment, White House deputy press Secretary Hogan Gidley said: ‘John Brennan lied before Congress when he got caught spying on American citizens and lied about having Russian collusion evidence that never existed. The only way I’ve ever heard anyone in the White House mention him is as a punchline.’

It’s not clear what Gidley was referring to—Brennan has not been accused of lying to Congress.”

The truth is Brennan has been accused of lying to Congress, and Politico even reported on it. As Politico reported at the time, former Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) accused Brennan of lying to Congress and demanded his resignation over allegations about the CIA accessing computers used by Senate staff.

As Politico reported in 2014: “Udall railed on Thursday against the CIA’s ‘tremendous failure of leadership’ displayed by Brennan in the aftermath of Feinstein’s March accusation that the CIA accessed Senate computers. The senator said the CIA director was not forthright about the agency’s interference into the torture report and said the IG report ‘isn’t enough.’”

Later in 2014, Politico also reported: “’The CIA has lied to its overseers and the public, destroyed and tried to hold back evidence, spied on the Senate, made false charges against our staff and lied about torture and the results of torture. And no one has been held to account,’ Udall complained.”

 McClatchy News also reported on anger toward Brennan from other members of Congress: “Many members demanded that Brennan explain his earlier denial that the CIA had accessed the Senate committee database. ‘Director Brennan should make a very public explanation and correction of what he said,’ said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.”

James Downie, The Washington Post’s digital opinions editor, called for Brennan’s firing in the wake of the controversy: “Brennan denied snooping on Senate computers six weeks after Feinstein first made the accusation to the CIA in private, which means either that he was lying, or he had ignored a serious charge against his agency for six weeks, then spouted off about it without any real knowledge — hardly the behavior expected of an agency director.”

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