U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a member of both the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and the Senate Intelligence Committee, today released this statement following the President's nominations of Senator Chuck Hagel to become Secretary of Defense and John Brennan to become Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Senator Collins intends to meet with both Senator Hagel and Mr. Brennan in the coming weeks.
On Senator Hagel:
"I know Senator Hagel well from having served with him in the Senate. He is a friend of mine. I do have some concerns with some of his statements on Iran, Hamas, and Israel. I'm sure that those issues will be explored in his confirmation hearing.
On Mr. Brennan:
"I first got to know John Brennan during President Bush's administration when he was tapped to head the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, the predecessor to today's National Counterterrorism Center, which is the hub that ensures threat information is robustly shared among federal agencies.
"In addition, I have worked closely with him over the years on many homeland security issues, particularly cybersecurity, which remains a top priority for our country to address.
"As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I look forward to meeting with Mr. Brennan and questioning him about several controversial issues related to the CIA, including the increasingly paramilitary activities of the spy agency, such as the use of armed drones.
"As always, I will reserve final judgment on these nominations until after the confirmation hearings."