White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer defended CIA Director John Brennan, calling him a man of “great integrity,” amid calls for the intelligence chief to step down after the agency admitted to spying on Senate staffers.

“John Brennan is a man of great integrity and ability. He’s someone the president knows very well and has confidence in,” said Pfeiffer on ABC’s “This Week.


”President Obama has stood by his CIA chief after the agency acknowledged earlier this week that officers had hacked into Senate Intelligence Committee computers to monitor staffers preparing a report on interrogation techniques.

The admission came after Brennan had flatly denied to lawmakers that the agency had snooped on congressional staff, leading some senators to call for him to step down.

Obama on Friday, though, said he had “full confidence” in Brennan after the director apologized to lawmakers.

Pfeiffer said Brennan should be judged on how he responded to the spying scandal.

“We have to look at how Director Brennan responded to this. When there were allegations of improper conduct, he was the one to refer this to the inspector general,” he said. “He’s setting up an accountability review board to ensure that the right steps are taken.”