Congressional Republicans lashed out at White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan, who said Sunday that the lawmakers were told the Christmas Day terrorist attacker was taken into FBI custody.
Brennan said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) and Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) were all briefed on Christmas Day and that they raised no objections.
“They knew that in FBI custody there is a process that you follow. None of those individuals raised any concerns with me at this point,” Brennan said. “They were very appreciative of the information.”
The four Republicans immediately took umbrage at Brennan's comments, saying they were not told of any decision to read Miranda rights to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the attacker.
"Brennan never told me any of plans to Mirandize the Christmas Day bomber -- if he had I would told him the administration was making a mistake," Bond said.
Spokesmen for McConnell and Boehner described brief or "courtesy" calls on Christmas Day that did not amount to a full briefing.
“During a brief call from the White House, McConnell was given a heads up that Abdulmutallab was in custody, but little else. He wasn’t told of the decision to Mirandize Abdulmutallab," said Don Stewart, McConnell's spokesman.
Kevin Smith, spokesman for Boehner, said the congressman received a short, unclassified, non-secure call on his cell phone in which he was not told that Abdulmutallab was read Miranda rights.
"This administration, and this administration alone, made the dangerous decision to read Abdulmutallab his Miranda rights and treat him as a common criminal, not a terrorist, and it did so without even consulting our intelligence chiefs," Smith said.
"I don't think Brennan is lying," Hoekstra said. "I think what he is saying is that he gave us some info and based on that kind of info we should have figured out something else. That's an unfair characterization."
He said the idea that he would know how the government would treat the attacker legally based on what Brennan said is "ludicrous."
"That assumption is crazy," Hoekstra said.
Hoekstra said the call was in the evening on Christmas Day on a nonsecure line. He said they didn't discuss what strategy would be used or how the government would treat him legally.
This post was updated at 3:30 p.m.