WASHINGTON (AP) - The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee says Chuck Hagel is "well-qualified" to be the next Defense secretary.
Sen. Carl Levin, who will oversee Hagel's confirmation hearing, said in a statement Monday that the former Republican senator has a wealth of experience in national security and is a strong advocate for the men and women of the military.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, who will be the top Republican on the panel, mentioned concerns about Hagel's policy positions and vowed to seek clarification during the hearing.
In the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor says Hagel is the wrong man for the job. The Virginia Republican said Hagel has espoused incendiary views about Israel that are out of the mainstream.
Only the Senate votes on the nomination.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has tapped White House homeland security adviser John Brennan as his nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.
Obama on Monday appeared with Brennan in the East Room of the White House to name him as his pick to succeed former CIA chief David Petraeus, who resigned in November after admitting to an affair with his biographer.
Brennan is a 25-year veteran of the CIA and among Obama's closest advisers. Obama called him a friend.
The president praised Brennan as one of the most skilled and respected intelligence professionals. Obama says Brennan and former Sen. Chuck Hagel, whom the president nominated to lead the Pentagon at the same event, understand that "the work of protecting our nation is never done."
Brennan's post requires Senate confirmation.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says Chuck Hagel, his choice as the new secretary of defense, is "the leader that our troops deserve."
Obama formally announced his choice of Hagel in the White House East Room on Monday even as critics questioned the pick over issues including Hagel's views on Israel and Iran.
Facing a potentially tough fight to get Hagel confirmed by the Senate, Obama praised the former Nebraska senator's independence and bipartisan approach, and said that Hagel, a Vietnam veteran, understands war is not an abstraction.
Hagel, a moderate Republican, has the support of some of his former Senate colleagues but is drawing opposition from others who accuse him of being soft on Iran and insufficiently supportive of Israel.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House confirms that President Barack Obama will be nominating former Republican senator Chuck Hagel and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan today to be key players in his second-term national security team.
Hagel is Obama's choice to be defense secretary, while Brennan is being nominated to lead the CIA. Along with John Kerry -- who is nominated to be secretary of state -- Brennan and Hagel would play major roles in shaping and implementing Obama's national security priorities for the next four years.
Obama is making it clear that he's ready for a tough confirmation fight in the Senate. Hagel has been accused of being anti-Israel and soft on Iran. And Brennan has faced questions about his ties to harsh interrogation techniques that were used during the administration of George W. Bush.