President Barack Obama today will announce two somewhat controversial picks for his second-term national security team—former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., as defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan as head of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Brennan, a 25-year CIA veteran, withdrew from consideration for the spy agency’s top job in 2008 after questions arose concerning his connection to harsh interrogation techniques used during the George W. Bush administration. Congressional Republicans accuse Hagel, a former GOP senator, of being anti-Israel and soft on Iran.
The announcement is scheduled for Monday afternoon, according to the White House. Along with secretary of state nominee Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., Hagel and Brennan would play key roles in shaping and implementing Obama’s national security priorities in his second term. All three men must be confirmed by the Senate.
Check back for an in-depth report after President Obama makes the nominations official.