The former Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence went to great lengths on CNN to not criticize Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) -- who took over his committee -- when asked about Nunes using highly confidential intelligence information to attack the FBI.
Given his choice, retired Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) said he would rather the CNN host cut to a commercial, than answer the question.
Speaking with host John Harwood and Alisyn Camerota, the former lawmaker turned CNN analyst defended the FBI from both the attack by Nunes and tweets from President Donald Trump criticizing the agency.
Addressing the intent of the memo, Rogers explained, "If you really believe that a group of agents conspired with the Department of Justice to purposely mislead the judge in a FISA court, that's a serious charge including and up to perjury. You can perjure yourself for application for a warrant. -- hat's pretty serious. My argument would be, let's find the right venue and Twitter is probably not the best place to do that. That the memo that doesn't have all the information to make a good decision is probably the other place i wouldn't do it."
"You were the House intel chair," co-host Camerota began. "The current House intel chair is Devin Nunes. What is Devin Nunes doing? Would you have put together a memo based on your talking points based on classified intelligence?"
"Boy, look at the time. Isn't there a commercial break?" Rogers quipped.
"No, you have to answer this," Camerota pressed. "You are the perfect person, you have lived in his shoes, you have walked in his shoes. What's happening?"
"Yeah," Rogers conceded. "I'm not sure why they would pick this route. There are other ways you can make your point if you're worried about this. Again, my point here is if you're really worried about maybe criminal behavior in the application of the FISA warrant, there are other ways to do it."
"If you're going to go after someone's character or liberty, you better be right," he continued. "You don't do it by parsing out a political argument in a memo that clearly intelligence services and other members are saying doesn't reflect the whole picture. I'm not sure what they want to accomplish. If they want to accomplish oversight in a committee that's designed to be classified and be able to get all that classified information. I would argue that's not the way to do it."
Watch the video below via CNN: