Report: Clapper to remain as intel chief

Dec. 18, 2012 at 8:22 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, has indicated he will remain in his position, a U.S. official knowledgeable of Clapper's plans said.

The official said Clapper will remain as chief of the Office of Director of National Intelligence "for the foreseeable future" after President Obama asked that he stay, CNN reported Monday.

Obama is preparing to fill several key posts, including secretaries of State and Defense, early in his second term, the official said.

Clapper has been a safeguard for the Obama administration in the wave of Republican criticism about the response to the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, particularly after he said the intelligence community was responsible for major changes made to talking points used by government officials who spoke publicly about the attack in which U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three diplomatic staffers died.

An independent review of the handling of security, intelligence and other issues surrounding the attack has been completed and was given to the State Department Monday. The DNI office also reviewed a draft of the report, the official said.

"There were no grumblings on that draft," from DNI, the source told CNN.

The review examined the intelligence known before the Benghazi attack, intelligence that either was or might have been available during the attack, and the intelligence available in its wake.

The intelligence community maintains it had no information that was timely and specific enough to indicate an attack on the consulate was imminent, the official said.

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