Fusion’s Jorge Ramos pressed CIA Director John Brennan and CIA recruitment chief Ron Patrick on whether a lack of diversity could have contributed to some of the agency’s biggest intelligence failures, like 9/11. Brennan in particular held firm on the range of people and resources at the CIA.
“In the 67 years of our history, the CIA has been responsible for doing some amazing things as far as preventing harm coming to this country,” Brennan said. “You cited intelligence failures there. Well, there are a lot of things happening in this world today that the CIA has tried to prevent hurting this country, but diversity is something that I think we’ve always had.”
Patrick pushed back on the Hollywood-driven perception that the CIA is full of spies. “We actually don’t even recruit spies, to be perfectly honest,” Patrick said. “Maybe we’re getting a little technical here. But we actually recruit operations officers who go, and part of their job is to recruit people to collect information for us.”