Former CIA chief John Brennan to brief US Democrats on Iran
search

Former CIA chief John Brennan to brief US Democrats on Iran

Nuclear deal negotiator invited to speak to lawmakers after heightened tensions in Persian Gulf spark fears of war

In this May 23, 2017, photo, former CIA director John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the US House Intelligence Committee Russia Investigation Task Force. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
In this May 23, 2017, photo, former CIA director John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the US House Intelligence Committee Russia Investigation Task Force. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — US House Democrats will hear from former CIA director John Brennan about the situation in Iran, inviting him to speak next week amid heightened concerns over the Trump administration’s sudden moves in the region.

Brennan, an outspoken critic of US President Donald Trump, is scheduled to talk to House Democrats at a private weekly caucus meeting Tuesday, according to a Democratic aide and another person familiar with the private meeting. Both were granted anonymity to discuss the meeting.

The invitation to Brennan and Wendy Sherman, the former State Department official and top negotiator of the Iran nuclear deal, offers counter-programming to the Trump administration’s closed-door briefing for lawmakers also planned for Tuesday on Capitol Hill. Democratic lawmakers are likely to attend both sessions.

The Trump administration recently sent an aircraft carrier and other military resources to the Persian Gulf region, and withdrew nonessential personnel from Iraq, raising alarm among Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill over the possibility of a confrontation with Iran.

A helicopter loads cargo onto the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea as the ship’s strike group makes its way to the Persian Gulf, May 8, 2019. (US Navy/Michael Singley)

Trump in recent days downplayed any potential for conflict. But questions remain about what prompted the actions and many lawmakers have demanded more information.

Trump and Brennan have clashed openly, particularly over the issues surrounding the special counsel’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Brennan stepped down from the CIA in 2017.

The US president last year said he was revoking the former spy chief’s security credentials after Brennan was critical of Trump’s interactions with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in Helsinki. Top national security officials often retain their clearance after they have left an agency as a way to provide counsel to their successors. It’s unclear if Brennan actually lost his clearance.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been asking the administration for a briefing for all lawmakers on the situation in Iran, but she said the request was initially rebuffed. The administration provided a classified briefing for top leaders of both parties last week.

read more:
comments