By Barbara Starr
President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the CIA met for an hour with one of the filmmakers of "Zero Dark Thirty," the movie about the agency's effort to find and kill Osama bin Laden.
John Brennan, who currently serves as the president's chief counterterrorism adviser, detailed that meeting for the first time in written answers to questions from the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The panel is considering his nomination to head the spy agency.
Brennan told the committee that he and other White House officials met with filmmaker Mark Boal on June 30, 2011, for an unclassified discussion "on how White House officials viewed the opportunities and risks associated with a film about the raid that killed bin Laden" the previous month.
He did not elaborate on what that meant. But administration officials have adamantly said they did not reveal any classified details.
There has been extensive criticism from some in Congress that the moviemakers were given exclusive access to officials and some details about the raid in Pakistan.
The committee publicly released 30 pages of questions and answers on Friday as part of the record on Brennan's nomination.
The Intelligence Committee has put off a vote on Brennan's appointment until after next week's congressional recess.
Some senators want more answers on what they view as crucial issues, including updated information on the White House role in responding to the deadly September terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Another area of concern is the U.S. policy of using lethal force in counterterror operations targeting Americans overseas.
The issue stemmed from the 2011 killing of Yemeni-American Anwar al-Awlaki as part of the war against al Qaeda.
Brennan upheld the legality of using drone attacks to kill U.S. citizens abroad if they are part of al Qaeda or associated with al Qaeda.
"This does not mean, however, that we use military force whenever or wherever we want," Brennan wrote.
He reiterated conditions that must be met: A person poses an imminent threat of attack against the United States; his capture is not feasible; and the operation is consistent with law around the principles of war.
"The process of deciding to take such an extraordinary action would involve legal review by the Department of Justice, as well as a discussion among the departments and agencies across the national security team, including the relevant National Security Council principals and the president," Brennan said.
The Obama administration has turned over documents to the Intelligence Committee outlining the legal rationale for such action, but members have sought more information.
One senator, Kentucky Republican Rand Paul, wanted assurances the policy did not apply to people on U.S. soil.
Brennan said the Obama administration "has not carried out drone strikes inside the United States and has no intention of doing so."