Former Vice President Dick Cheney is “proud” of the “tone and attitude” he set at the CIA, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, amid growing tension between the Agency and the Senate Intelligence Committee over the declassification of a Bush-era torture report that the Senate says will show the CIA misled the American public.
“I do believe that during the Bush-Cheney administration, that Vice President Cheney set a tone and an attitude for the CIA," Pelosi said. “Many people in the CIA are so patriotic, they protect our country in a way to avoid violence, etc. But the attitude that was there was very...I think it came from Dick Cheney. That's what I believe."
“I think he’s proud of it,” Pelosi added.
Moments later, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers called Pelosi out for politicizing the controversy over the report ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.
"What worries me about that more than any other statement is that politicizes this in a way that's horribly counterproductive and likely to lead people to the wrong conclusions," Rogers said on State of the Union.
"Why now, in an election year, would you bring this up and then to say this is about Dick Cheney...clearly when you say things like that it becomes highly charged politically," Rogers said, cautioning that the report "is not the Holly Grail, it doesn't answer all the questions" surrounding the controversial use of enhanced interrogation techniques.
The Senate Intelligence Committee voted Thursday to declassify parts of its torture report, which Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein said “exposes brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation."
The CIA and the Intelligence Committee sparred in March over accusations that the CIA spied on Senate staffers working on the report, while the CIA charged the Senate with unauthorized access to classified documents.