WASHINGTON, (UPI) — President Obama will nominate counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the CIA, replacing David Petraeus, the White House said.
“John Brennan’s career of service and extraordinary record has prepared him to be an outstanding director of the CIA,” a White House statement said. “Since [Sept. 11, 2001], he has been on the front lines in the fight against al-Qaida. Over the past four years, he has been involved in virtually all major national security issues and will be able to hit the ground running at CIA.”
Obama plans to announce his selection of Brennan at the same time he nominates former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel to be Defense secretary, USA Today reported Monday.
Obama considered Brennan for the CIA post after the 2008 election, but Brennan withdrew after critics questioned his ties to harsh interrogation methods used by the CIA during President George W. Bush’s administration. Brennan has denied involvement in those methods and has spoken against them.
Brennan’s years at the spy agency included assignments as deputy executive director, station chief in Saudi Arabia and top presidential briefer, USA Today said.
Petraeus resigned last year after news of an extramarital affair surfaced.