Rep. Mike Rogers on fears of backlash over CIA report

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," December 9, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Joining us now, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Congressman Mike Rogers. Mr. Chairman, thank you for being here tonight.

REP. MIKE ROGERS , R-MICH.: Thank you.

KELLY: And so let's start with what President Obama said today about why we need to release this despite your representations and the representations of others that it will put Americans here and abroad at risk. Here he is.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: There's never a perfect time to release a report like this, but it was important for us, I think, to recognize that part of what sets us apart is when we do something wrong, we acknowledge it.


KELLY: Your reaction, sir?

ROGERS: Well, this makes no sense to me whatsoever, Megyn. We're a nation at war. We've got a problem with ISIL in Iraq and Eastern Syria, we've got problems in Yemen, we've got problems in North Africa, we've got problems in North Africa. We have U.S. personnel, both intelligence officials and our military and our special operators in harm's way, and again, when you look at why would we release it now? What did we have to gain? All of this has been debated, all of this has been settled. We understood all of that. Clearly even the administration knew it was going to cause trouble. They sent out warnings all across the world to improve their security at embassies, our intelligence officials are trying to figure out how they improve their security wherever they're operating around the world.

KELLY: So what's this about? So you tell me why. What is this about? Is it because Dianne Feinstein is upset that the CIA spied on Congress?

ROGERS: Well, I mean, again that is all part of another investigation, I'm not even sure that is completely an accurate portrayal.

KELLY: Well, she was asked about it today by Wolf Blitzer, asked about why she was doing it and talked about how the CIA has been obfuscating and about how the CIA has the one that made this cost tens of millions of dollars and about how the CIA then spied on Congress and tried to change the results here and she seemed very upset and then he asked her, to his credit, why are you doing this now when it may put American lives in danger? And I want to play for the viewers what happened. Here's that sound bite.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: If Americans are killed as a result of this report may tell you that, I assume you would feel guilty about that?

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, D-CALIF.: I would feel very badly, of course. I mean, what do you think, Wolf Blitzer?


KELLY: So she'll feel badly, but she's doing it anyway.

ROGERS: I think this is more than the senator and the chairman of the committee. I think she's under tremendous pressure from many others in the Senate who are pushing to have this report released. And really I think for all the wrong reasons. How do you look these families in the eye and say, well, we know that we've asked you to go in harm's way, we've asked you to risk your life. We're just going to make it a little bit more difficult because we don't want to wait a year or two years or more appropriate time maybe when we're not at war, we don't have people in harm's way to release this inflammatory report. And think about this, Megyn. This is what's very concerning about this.

You know, compare it to this. What if 10 years from now, somebody came back and said, well, President Obama, you released Gitmo prisoners to countries who were not adequately prepared to handle them. They were either abused or got someone killed. Maybe we should revisit that decision and charge people with a crime. And by the way, United Nations folks are already calling that these folks should be prosecuted. Great, another problem we have.

So, now you have this growing problem and now you have a case officer who is working in a very dangerous place in the world who expects that the United States is going to stand with them because we've asked them to do very hard and difficult things to protect America. Do they have to turn around and look back and wonder if the United States is going to be with them or in a few years they're going to get a subpoena about having to come in and testify about something their government asked them to do.

KELLY: Uh-mm. All this while they have to worry about a person's safety.


ROGERS: I just think it sent all the wrong message.

Yes, exactly.

KELLY: Mr. Chairman, good to see you tonight.

ROGERS: Hey, great to see you, Megyn.

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