Andrea Mitchell Urges Sen. Feinstein to Slam Fmr. CIA Chief as Sexist

On her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Tuesday, host Andrea Mitchell kept pushing the left-wing talking point that former CIA director Michael Hayden was somehow being sexist when he criticized the biased report put out by Senator Dianne Feinstein about Bush-era interrogation tactics against terror suspects: "...Hayden suggested on Fox News Sunday this week that Intelligence chair Dianne Feinstein was somehow overreacting. Perhaps it's a woman thing?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Mitchell invited on Senator Feinstein and teed her up to condemn Hayden's supposedly anti-woman remarks: "I mean, where do we come down in this day and age where a woman who is chair of the Intelligence Committee...gets accused of being emotional in having worked on this report?" Feinstein declared: "I think that's an old male fallback position."

Feinstein continued: "And there's no question that there are a lot of people out there, I suspect one of them is former CIA director Hayden, that does not want the report to come out. So one of the things you do is try to blur the reputation of someone connected with the report."

Mitchell began the segment by proclaiming: "The Senate Intelligence Committee, in a bipartisan vote, has sent its controversial torture report on CIA interrogations during the Bush administration to President Obama for review and declassification..."


Here are portions of Mitchell's April 8 interview with Feinstein:

12:23 PM ET

ANDREA MITCHELL: The Senate Intelligence Committee, in a bipartisan vote, has sent its controversial torture report on CIA interrogations during the Bush administration to President Obama for review and declassification, overriding objections from current CIA director John Brennan. But in response, former CIA director Michael Hayden suggested on Fox News Sunday this week that Intelligence chair Dianne Feinstein was somehow overreacting. Perhaps it's a woman thing?

MICHAEL HAYDEN [ON FOX NEWS SUNDAY]: I read an article by David Ignatius earlier this week and he said-

CHRIS WALLACE: He's a columnist for the Washington Post we should point out.  

HAYDEN: Right. And he said that Senator Feinstein wanted a report so scathing that it would "ensure that an un-American brutal program of detention and interrogation would never again be considered or permitted." Now, that sentence, that motivation for the report, Chris, may show deep emotional feeling on the part of the Senator, but I don't think it leads you to an objective report.

MITCHELL: Senator Dianne Feinstein joins me now from Capitol Hill. I think – and this is your first television response to that comment, Senator. I want to ask you, where do we begin with that? What's your response to Mike Hayden?

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN [D-CA]: Well, I'll tell you where we begin. It's nonsense, it's kind of stereotypical. I think David Ignatius was incorrect and Hayden is incorrect.

(...)

12:28 PM ET

MITCHELL: So you've just made it very clear that this all started under [Senator] Jay Rockefeller [D-WV] when he was chair of the committee. He is a man. Not given to being emotional, I guess, as you as chair are? I mean, where do we come down in this day and age where a woman who is chair of the Intelligence Committee because of seniority and expertise and all of the rest that goes into that, gets accused of being emotional in having worked on this report and basically backed the staff on this report?

FEINSTEIN: I think that's an old male fallback position. And there's no question that there are a lot of people out there, I suspect one of them is former CIA director Hayden, that does not want the report to come out. So one of the things you do is try to blur the reputation of someone connected with the report. Obviously I'm the chairman of the committee, I'm connected with the report. I support the findings. I believe they're factual. I voted for declassification. I believe that we should be transparent. And I firmly believe that this report will serve a very positive public good in the long run.

MITCHELL: We should point out that your Republican counterpart Saxby Chambliss also voted for declassification. He had some issues with the content, but he voted to proceed.

FEINSTEIN: That's correct.

MITCHELL: Dianne Feinstein, thank you very much.

FEINSTEIN: Thank you.

MITCHELL: Thanks for being with us today.

FEINSTEIN: Thank you very much. Right, bye, bye.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC