The top counterterrorism adviser to President Barack Obama struck back at Republican members of Congress Sunday, saying they use national security issues as a “political football” for their own agenda.
Republicans have pounded the White House for mistakes in the arrest of Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, accused of the failed Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner.
“Quite frankly I’m tiring of politicians using national security issues such as terrorism as political football. They’re going out there, they’re unknowing of the facts, and they’re making charges and allegations that are not anchored in reality,” White House counterrorism adviser John Brennan told David Gregory on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Republicans say that charging Abdulmutallab in a criminal court and giving him legal rights prevents the intelligence community from obtaining information from him on al Qaeda and possible future U.S. terrorist attacks.
Brennan said he briefed Republican lawmakers, including Senator Christopher Bond, the top Senate intelligence committee Republican, shortly after the arrest and no one raised any concerns.
“They were told about the fact of that cooperation as well as some information he was sharing,” Brennan said. “None of those individuals raised any concerns with me at that point. They didn’t say, is he going into military custody? Is he going to be Mirandized?”