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Former CIA Director: No One Told Me Not To Tell Congress

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Hayden during a March 30, 2008, appearance on NBC's Meet the Press. Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images for Meet the Press hide caption

itoggle caption Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images for Meet the Press

The man who ran the CIA from 2006 through January says he wasn't told by then-vice president Dick Cheney not to brief Congress about a covert program aimed at members of al-Qaida, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly reports.

Gen. Mike Hayden's statement is at odds with a New York Times report Sunday that said the CIA:

Withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency's director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.

Hayden tells Mary Louise that "I never felt I had any impediment in briefing Congress."

Update at 2:35 p.m. ET. Here's a clip from the report Mary Louise filed a short time ago for NPR News:

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