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Pelosi Praises Feinstein, Calls CIA Director's Statements 'Befuddling'

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi praised Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a fellow California Democrat, on Thursday for her "courage" in standing up to the intelligence community, though stopped short of saying whether she believed the CIA had, in fact, spied on Senate Intelligence Committee computer files.  

"I salute Sen. Feinstein," Pelosi said at her weekly news conference of the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. "I'll tell you, you take on the intelligence community, you're a person of courage, and she does not do that lightly. Not without evidence, and when I say evidence, documentation of what it is that she is putting forth."  

Pelosi added that she has always fought for checks and balances on CIA activity and its interactions with Congress: "You don't fight it without a price because they come after you and they don't always tell the truth.  

"Whatever else there is should be examined in terms of what happened and who let that happen," she continued. "This may be one of the healthiest things we can do because I know one thing: Whatever it is, the intelligence community writes a report on that, they leave, they write a book on it, all of a sudden it becomes conventional ... gossip that that's what happened there and we really have to have the ground truth."  

While Pelosi admitted she was not intimately familiar with CIA Director John O. Brennan's statements in which he vehemently denied Feinstein's claims but said that she found what comments of his she had read "befuddling."  

"I have high regard for him," Pelosi caveated. "I'll probably see him over the St. Patrick holiday and maybe get an attitude where he thinks this is going."