US President Barack Obama said he wants the Senate to act quickly to approve his nominee to head the nation’s 16 spy agencies as he unveiled his choice today.
He said Pentagon intelligence official James Clapper must not fall victim to Washington politics.
Mr Obama said he will be counting on Mr Clapper to ensure that the US has the most capable and efficient intelligence operations as possible.
The president said the US has struck blows to al-Qaida’s leadership. But he said the US needs to do even better, especially in light of the bombing plot against a Detroit-bound airplane at Christmas.
Speaking at the White House, Mr Clapper said he was humbled, honoured and daunted by his new responsibilities.