WASHINGTON, June 4 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama will nominate Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper Jr. director of national intelligence, a senior government official said.
Citing the official, whose name was not reported, The New York Times said Friday Obama will announce the nomination Saturday at the White House. Clapper would succeed Adm. Dennis Blair, who resigned last month under pressure from the administration.
Clapper -- who retired from the Air Force in 1995 after 32 years -- served as undersecretary of defense for intelligence during the administration of former President George W. Bush and continued in that position after Obama succeeded Bush. He currently serves as director of defense intelligence and reports directly to the director of national intelligence, the Times said.
He previously served as director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and has a background in intelligence dating back to 1963.
The nomination may run into some difficulty in the U.S. Senate, the newspaper said. Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., told the Times Friday Clapper was "focused too much on Defense Department issues."
"And I don't believe that he's been forthcoming and open with the intelligence committee," said Bond, the ranking Republican on the intelligence committee.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., told the newspaper he has "real reservations" about Clapper's ability to address "problems within the intelligence community."