Two former senior U.S. intelligence officials – Michael Morell and Avril Haines – have emerged as leading candidates for director of National Intelligence or to lead the CIA in President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, several current and former intelligence officials said.
Morell was Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Obama administration from 2010 to 2013 and during that time also served two positions as Deputy Director of the agency.
Haines, CIA deputy director and deputy national security adviser to President Barack Obama, said the sources said.
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 for serving with the CIA when the agency used “enhanced interrogation techniques” on suspected Islamic militants, a practice that a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation has labeled torture.
Other names that are being discussed by both the Democratic Party and intelligence officials as possible candidates for director of the National Intelligence Service include Michael Leiter, a former DNI official and former director of the National Counter Terrorism Center, a branch of the DNI bureau, and Mike Rogers, a former Republican Congressman, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, the sources said.
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