DENVER — Colorado Sen. Mark Udall isn’t known in Washington circles as a lawmaker with a deep contrarian streak.
Just Wednesday, Udall announced his annual bipartisan gimmick, asking lawmakers to sit by members of the opposite party during the president’s State of the Union Address in two weeks.
So it raised many eyebrows around the Beltway when Udall, a Democrat facing reelection in 2014, issued a surprisingly blistering statement about his meeting Wednesday with President Obama’s nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan.
Udall said he is “deeply disappointed” that CIA nominee John Brennan was unprepared to discuss the Intelligence Committee’s recent report on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.
According to Udall’s office, he and Sens. Carl Levin, D-MI, and Ron Wyden, R-OR, met with Brennan today after asking him to review the committee’s findings, which were based on a documentary review of more than 6 million pages of CIA and other records, and raises critical questions about intelligence operations and oversight.
“I was deeply disappointed today during my meeting with John Brennan,” Udall said. “A few weeks ago, I had asked that he be prepared to discuss at today’s meeting the findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s comprehensive study on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation program.
“Not only was he not prepared to discuss the important findings, but he hadn’t reviewed the report at all,” Udall continued.
“Brennan promised today to review the findings before the Intelligence Committee’s confirmation hearing next Thursday. I intend to hold him to that promise, and I hope Mr. Brennan will be more forthcoming in his testimony next week. I understand that he may not see it in his or the CIA’s interests to criticize the very agency that he hopes to lead, but I see this as an opportunity for Mr. Brennan to correct the record, institute the necessary reforms and help restore the CIA’s reputation for integrity and analytical rigor.”