Tuesday, February 21, 2006

House Democrat says White House nixed NSA briefing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A top intelligence official was prepared to brief the House of Representatives intelligence committee about President George W. Bush's domestic spying program last December but was stopped by White House Chief of Staff Andy Card, a leading House Democrat said on Tuesday.

Rep. Jane Harman of California, ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said she and fellow Democrats on the panel sought a briefing from deputy U.S. intelligence chief, Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, soon after Bush confirmed the existence of the surveillance program.

"Gen. Hayden said he was prepared to brief the full committee but our request was disapproved by White House Chief of Staff Andy Card," Harman said in a statement issued by her office.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said she was not aware of any conversations about a possible intelligence briefing in December. A spokeswoman for Hayden declined to comment.

No comments: