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CIA Director: We Should Be Careful in How We Respond to Russian Hacking

brennanCIA Director John Brennan gave an interview this week warning about how the United States should be responding to Russian election interference.

In the NPR interview with national security correspondent Mary Louise Kelly, Brennan stands by the intel consensus that Russia attempted to interfere with the election and that the decision to say so publicly was “carefully considered.”

“This most recent experience with the Russian activities,” he said, “during this election really underscores the importance of making sure that we as a government take the appropriate steps to protect and safeguard our way of life as well as the tenets of our current democratic process.”

Brennan briefly acknowledged media reports of “differences of view” about the strength of the intelligence and insisted, “There is, I strongly believe, very strong consensus among the key players — but not just the leaders of these organizations, but also the institutions themselves.”

Kelly pressed him on whether the idea that Russia interfered in the election specifically to help Donald Trump is “an accurate characterization of where the CIA is on this.” Here’s how Brennan answered that question:

“Well, that’s what the review is going to do. And we will be as forward-leaning as the intelligence and analysis allows us to be, and we will make sure that, again, President Obama and the incoming administration understands what the intelligence community has assessed and determined to have happened during the run-up to this election.”

President Obama recently said that the U.S. is going to take retaliatory action, and Brennan believes that we should be careful in doing so:

“This country is based on the democratic principles that our nation was founded upon. And there is a lot of challenges throughout the world to those principles of freedom, liberty, freedom of speech and the will of the people in order to govern as they see fit. And the election process is one of those foundational elements of our democracy. And I individually believe that there are certain things that this government, our country, should not be engaged in because it is inconsistent with those precepts, those tenets of the United States of America.”

“I don’t think we should resort to some of the tactics and techniques that our adversaries employ against us,” he added. “I think we need to remember what we’re fighting for.”

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac