John Brennan defended the decision to keep this portion of the 2002 report classified in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“It was a preliminary review that put information in there that was not corroborated, not vetted and not deemed to be accurate,” Brennan said, in contrast to the views of
former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, who co-chaired the joint Congressional inquiry. Graham has been leading a push to release the documents, saying they suggest a Saudi role.But Brennan insisted it would be wrong to reach that conclusion, noting the early information in the Congressional report was further investigated by the 9/11 Commission and other groups.
Photo: ReutersKevin Lamarque/Reuters
President Obama speaks with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan during the summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 21, 2016. Could the documents potentially fracture the relationship between the allies?
Former Sen. Bob Graham (R-Fl). Co-chair joint Congressional inquiry. Wants documents released.
Photo: Getty Images
Brennan said that the classified pages may contain inaccurate information suggesting a Saudi link to the Sept. 11 attacks.
“This chapter was kept out because of concerns about sensitive source of methods, investigative actions. The investigation of 9/11 was still underway in late 2002,” he said.
“I’m quite puzzled by Sen. Graham and others because what that joint inquiry did was to tee up issues that were followed up on by the 9/11 Commission, as well as the 9/11 Review Commission. So these were thoroughly investigated and reviewed,” he said. “And they came out with a very clear judgment that there was no evidence that indicated that the Saudi government as an institution, or Saudi officials individually, had provided financial support to Al Qaeda.”
He added that the pages contain “a combination of things that is accurate and inaccurate.”
“I think some people may seize upon that uncorroborated, un-vetted information that was in there, that was basically just a collation of this information that came out of F.B.I. files, and to point to Saudi involvement, which I think would be very, very inaccurate,” Brennan said.