Former President George H.W. Bush has released a statement defending the CIA.

Bush was the Director of Central Intelligence from 1976-1977.

Read the statement below:

Nearly four decades ago, it was my privilege to go to Langley to lead the men and women of the CIA at a contentious time. During my short time there, I learned firsthand that they are among the very finest people serving in the United States government -- whose selfless and often dangerous work, always behind the scenes, went unheralded. I felt compelled to reiterate my confidence in the Agency today, and to thank those throughout its ranks for their ongoing and vitally important work to keep America safe and secure.