FIRST ON CNN: Clapper to stay on as intel chief
December 17th, 2012
05:44 PM ET

FIRST ON CNN: Clapper to stay on as intel chief

By Barbara Starr

With the president expected to soon name his choices for leadership at the State Department, Pentagon and CIA, one key position will remain consistent - the director of national intelligence.

James Clapper has told colleagues he will be staying as director of national intelligence (DNI), according to a senior U.S. official with direct knowledge of Clapper's plans. The official said Clapper will stay at the head of the Office of Director of National Intelligence "for the foreseeable future."

President Barack Obama requested that Clapper stay on, amid an expected second-term overhaul of the other key national security posts. The official, who could not be identified because no official announcement has been made about Clapper, said word of the director staying at the request of the White House began to filter through the intelligence community on Monday.

Because the DNI's job does not have a fixed term of office, Clapper will not face a new confirmation hearing by the Senate Intelligence Committee. The official said the director had told colleagues and the White House he did not want to go through another hearing.

Clapper has proven to be a key bulwark for the Obama administration in the face of Republican criticism over response to the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, in particular after he acknowledged it was the intelligence community that was responsible for the substantive changes made to the talking points distributed for government officials who spoke publicly about the attack.

An independent review of the handling of security, intelligence and other issues related to the attack was just completed and given to the State Department on Monday.

The DNI's office has reviewed the portion of draft pertaining to the intelligence surrounding the incident, the official said.

"There were no grumblings on that draft," from the DNI, he said. The review looked at the intelligence that was in hand prior to the attack, what intelligence was or might have been available during the incident, and the intelligence available in the aftermath.

For its part, the intelligence community is holding to the view it had no intelligence that was timely and specific enough that would have indicated an attack was imminent, the official said.

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Araminta Ross

    Clapper is smart enough to know how to handle him....I was trying to get a letter to him some time ago, but the only snail mail info you get on the net is "new building"....I'll take an address if anybody's got one....Thanks, Mr. Clapper, I really appreciate what your doing there.

    December 19, 2012 at 10:58 am | Reply
  2. massoud

    I love the picture of the Clap in deep thought wondering what kind of Pizza he will be ordering for dinner

    December 19, 2012 at 3:55 am | Reply
  3. T/O

    CNN tweeting that Feinstein(D-CA) will leave the Senate Intelligence Committee to lead the Judiciary Committee?!? Anyone see that one coming? A bit surprising to me...

    December 18, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  4. empresstrudy

    Well there's another few Bengazis and Petraeus's you can expect then.

    December 18, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
  5. Steve- Illinois

    Another position not given to Susan Rice, as she fades into oblivion.
    Oh well, at least she has a great view of the underside of the bus.

    And you libs thought she was SoS material.

    December 18, 2012 at 6:27 am | Reply
  6. Larry

    In case you're wondering this is the guy who, during a House Intelligence Briefing, described the Muslim Brotherhood as being, "largely secular".

    December 18, 2012 at 3:35 am | Reply
  7. helenecha

    Amazing! Did his voice always give people a sense of security? Um, Godspeed!

    December 18, 2012 at 2:07 am | Reply
  8. Alfred E. Neuman

    Beware of the Clapper.

    December 18, 2012 at 2:01 am | Reply
  9. Peter Q Wolfe

    The whole intelligence community wih 17 bureaucracies including defense, state, think tanks, etc are miserible failures. This is just not in this administration but in virtually all administrations. On foreign policy the U.S is utterly blind and ignorant of facts especially nodays with terrorism, etc.

    December 18, 2012 at 12:17 am | Reply
  10. reply

    Clapper (on and off) keeps the job since he covered for Rice and Hillary Rotten Clinton. Surprise, surprise, Rotten-Clinton can't appear this week before the Congressional bodies since she has an upset tummy (put a porta-potty next to her chair) and bumped her head against, what, President Clinton's private parts. Oh, Bush's fault or the YouTube video.

    December 17, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Reply
  11. JohnParryJones

    I am surprised. Clapper hasn't seemed to perform well.

    December 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Reply

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