Leon Panetta supports Mike Pompeo, Trump's pick to lead the CIA

Panetta: Leaks happen, deal with it
Panetta: Leaks happen, deal with it

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  • "He's somebody who understands the intelligence agencies, is smart and I think will be a good director," Panetta said.
  • Panetta later served as President Obama's secretary of defense

Washington (CNN)Former CIA Director Leon Panetta said Thursday that Rep. Mike Pompeo, whom President-elect Donald Trump has picked to lead the agency, is up to the task and supports his nomination.

"He's somebody who understands the intelligence agencies, is smart and I think will be a good director," Panetta told CNN's Erin Burnett on "OutFront."
Panetta, who later served as President Barack Obama's secretary of defense, has made similarly positive comments about defense secretary nominee James Mattis.
Pompeo at his Senate confirmation hearing earlier on Thursday said it would be his mission to deliver unvarnished facts to the President and pledged to shield the agency from political influence at a time when Trump has been critical of the intelligence community. Pompeo, a Kansas Republican, also said he would not restart the CIA's use of enhanced interrogation techniques if he were approved for the position.