Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan should “not necessarily” resign over his agency’s use of torture, President Bill Clinton said Thursday in an interview in conjunction with the Clinton Foundation’s “Future of the Americas” summit in Miami.
“Not necessarily,” Clinton said when asked by Fusion’s Jorge Ramos if Brennan should step aside. “It depends on whether Brennan is able to serve within the constraints established by the president who nominated him.”
Brennan has come under fire in the wake of a report released by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which details brutal torture techniques the CIA used until 2009 to wrest information from detainees.
In a press conference Thursday, Brennan acknowledged some of the agency’s practices were “abhorrent” but defended the efficacy of the so-called “enhanced interrogation” program.
Brennan’s position puts him at odds with President Obama, who told Ramos this week that the program “violated who we are as a people.” Obama banned the use of torture upon taking office in 2009.
Clinton recalled at least two officials in his administration resigned over his welfare reform proposal.
“I praised them, I said these are public servants we should all admire,” he said. “They serve when they can in good conscience and if they disagree, they leave. That’s what you should want every country in the world–people serving honorably, and then if their govt is gonna take a course they disagree with, stepping down.
The Clinton Foundation’s “Future of the Americas” summit brought together business, non-profit, educational, and political leaders to improve cooperation on key issues facing the Western Hemisphere. The full interview will air on Fusion’s “AMERICA with Jorge Ramos” Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 10 p.m.