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Obama seeks to stay neutral in CIA-Senate spat

For Obama, CIA spat highlights complicated role in managing post-Sept. 11 programs

Obama seeks to stay neutral in CIA-Senate spat

WASHINGTON (AP) -- For President Barack Obama, a public spat between his trusted ally at the CIA and a loyal Democratic senator has put into sharp focus his complicated role in managing the anti-terror programs he inherited from George W. Bush.

The president wants to stay neutral in the feud that erupted last week between Sen. Dianne Feinstein and CIA Director John Brennan. Feinstein accused the CIA of illegally searching computers the Senate Intelligence Committee used to study documents related to the harsh interrogation techniques the agency employed after the 2001 terror attacks.

In brief comments on the dispute, Obama said that taking sides was not an appropriate role for him or the White House.