WASHINGTON (January 7, 2013)—The White House confirmed Monday that President Barack Obama will nominate former Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel and counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan to be key players in his second-term national security team.
Hagel is Mr. Obama's choice to be defense secretary, while Brennan is being nominated to lead the CIA.
Freshman U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is among the lawmakers on both sides of the aisle with doubts about Hagel, however.
Cruz spoke of Hagel said in his first appearance on "Fox News Sunday" since he was sworn in that his issues with Hagel stem from comments the former Nebraska senator made about Israel.
Hagel was quoted in a book complaining about the influence of the pro-Israel lobby on U.S. lawmakers.
Cruz said Hagel's criticism does not reflect the U.S. security interest in maintaining that alliance.
Cruz is a member of the Senate's Armed Services Committee, which would hold hearings on the nomination.
Mr. Obama is making it clear that he's ready for a tough confirmation fight in the Senate.
Hagel has been accused both of being anti-Israel and soft on Iran, and Brennan has faced questions about his ties to harsh interrogation techniques that were used during the administration of George W. Bush.