U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says President Barack Obama's choice for national intelligence director is the perfect fit because of his ability to forge consensus among the nation's spy agencies.
Obama's choice is James Clapper, who now works for Gates as the Pentagon's intelligence chief.
Gates told reporters traveling with him from Singapore to Azerbaijan on Sunday that Clapper has shown that he can get along with civilian intelligence agencies.
The national intelligence director oversees 16 spy agencies.
Obama announced on Saturday that he was nominating Clapper and he urged the Senate to confirm him quickly. Some senators in both parties are questioning whether Clapper would be right for the job.
© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.