Accessibility links

Breaking News

Report: Obama to Replace Intelligence Chiefs

A U.S. newspaper says the nation's two highest-ranking intelligence officials expect to be replaced when President-elect Barack Obama takes office in January.

The Washington Post quotes senior intelligence officials as saying Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, and CIA Director Michael Hayden are opposed by a number of influential congressional Democrats.

The Post says the lawmakers are upset over support by the two men for controversial Bush administration policies on harsh interrogation of suspected terrorists, and its warrantless wiretapping program.

Officials with Mr. Obama's transition team tell the newspaper that no decisions have been made regarding positions in the intelligence community.

Lobbyists prohibited from contributing to Obama transition

Tuesday, the head of the president-elect's transition team revealed Mr. Obama's policy on lobbyists.

John Podesta told reporters federal lobbyists are prohibited from contributing financially to Mr. Obama's transition to the White House. Podesta said anyone hired who has lobbied within the past 12 months may not work on the transition team in the field of policy in which he or she lobbied.

Mr. Obama made ethics rules a prominent part of his campaign platform, saying he would not accept lobbyists' money or hire them in his administration. He often criticized his former rival, Republican Senator John McCain, during the race, saying the McCain campaign took money from Washington lobbyists.

Podesta also said anyone who became a lobbyist after working on the transition will be prohibited from lobbying the Obama administration for 12 months.

Obama talks to foreign leaders

The president-elect spoke by phone with a number of world leaders on Tuesday - Pope Benedict XVI, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, King Abdullah of Jordan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India and President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, birthplace of Mr. Obama's late father.