Former Obama officials Morell, Haines likely candidates for Biden spy jobs: Sources

Reuters , Sunday 8 Nov 2020

Joe Biden
President-elect Joe Biden (L) leaves St. Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church after attending Sunday mass on November 08, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.(AFP)

Two former senior U.S. intelligence officials - Michael Morell and Avril Haines - have emerged as leading contenders to serve as Director of National Intelligence or run the CIA in President-elect Joe Biden's administration, several current and former intelligence officials said.

Morell served as the Central Intelligence Agency's deputy director in the Obama Administration between 2010 and 2013, and during that time also served two stints as acting agency director.

Haines, served as CIA deputy director and as President Barack Obama's deputy national security advisor, said the sources.

Haines declined to comment and Morell could not be reached for comment. A spokesman for Biden's transition team declined to comment.

Some former Democratic aides have raised concerns about Haines and Morell because they served at CIA when the agency used "enhanced interrogation" techniques on suspected Islamist militants, practices that a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation have labeled as torture.

Other names being discussed by both Democratic Party and intelligence officials as possible candidates for Director of National Intelligence include Michael Leiter, a former DNI official and former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, a branch of the DNI's office, and Mike Rogers, a former Republican Congressman who chaired the House Intelligence Committee, the sources said. 

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