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Reaction to the nomination of Negroponte as director of intelligence

John Negroponte, left, was called a diplomat with deep understanding of the world.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush's selection Thursday of John Negroponte as the nation's first director of national intelligence, and Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden as his deputy, drew mostly praise from lawmakers and others.

The following are excerpts of written statements or comments released following the appointment.

CIA Director Porter Goss, who will report to Negroponte:

"The nominations of Ambassador Negroponte and General Hayden are welcome news and a critical step in continuing to strengthen our intelligence community and to create even better coordinated working relationships and communications between the agencies."

Senate Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California:

"He (Negroponte) brings to his job experience as a consumer of intelligence. General Hayden brings to his position vast experience in the intelligence community," she said. "I wish them both well. So much of the safety of America is dependent on their success."

Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, chairman and vice-chairman of the 9/11 commission:

"Ambassador Negroponte is a highly respected diplomat with a deep understanding of the world. His extraordinary knowledge of foreign policy and intelligence issues will serve him well in his new capacity.

"For the director of national intelligence to succeed, he must have the president's complete confidence and full support. We are encouraged by the president's statement that Ambassador Negroponte will have full authority to set budgets for the intelligence community.

"The president's actions today are a step forward in enhancing the security of the American people.

"We again call upon the United States Congress to restructure its own internal mechanisms, so that the legislative branch can be a full partner not only to the president but to Ambassador Negroponte, General Hayden and [Homeland Security] Secretary [Mike] Chertoff in safeguarding the security of our nation."

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-West Virginia, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee:

"I think that Ambassador Negroponte is a very sound choice. Ambassador Negroponte has served bravely and with distinction in Iraq and at the United Nations during a time of turmoil and uncertainty. He brings a record of proven leadership and strong management.

"General Hayden's detailed understanding of our intelligence capabilities and his commitment to reform will help the ambassador as he forges new ground as the first DNI."

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee:

"Ambassador John Negroponte is an accomplished diplomat with strong credentials and leadership skills. His experience in national security and foreign relations is a strong foundation for the responsibilities that he will have in this critical position. Having served as our ambassador in Iraq, he has a special insight into the need for better intelligence.

"Ambassador Negroponte and Lieutenant General Hayden will bring a wealth of experience to the positions for which they are nominated. I hope that Congress acts quickly on these nominations."

Rep. Jane Harman, D-California, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee:

"John Negroponte is a smart choice for a very important job. He's a seasoned and skilled diplomat, who has served with distinction at the United Nations and in Iraq -- and he has the full confidence of the president.

"As important as this appointment is, it's equally important what the president said in naming Ambassador Negroponte to this post, that it will be the DNI's 'responsibility to determine annual budgets for all national intelligence agencies ... and how these funds are spent' and that 'the director of the CIA will report to' Ambassador Negroponte, with the agency retaining its main responsibility of collecting and analyzing human intelligence.

"I look forward to working with them to implement the Intelligence Reform law and bring our intelligence capabilities up to 21st century requirements."

Richard Falkenrath, a former deputy homeland security adviser to the president:

"I think John Negroponte is a very highly respected diplomat. He's a man of high integrity, of good judgment and discretion. And those are values that really resonate with the president.

"His problem is he's really not familiar with the intelligence process. He's never managed an intelligence agency. So he has a lot to learn in that area, and he will find that he's going to have a very ambiguous mandate to implement."

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