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Coats critical of Obama nominations

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., is unimpressed with President Obama's nominations to lead the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Coats said Monday in a phone interview that former Republican senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Obama's pick to head the Pentagon, has been "hostile to the Department of Defense, and hostile to military leadership, and hostile to some of his former colleagues."

Coats also was critical of John Brennan, the nominee for CIA director, because of intelligence leaks by the White House. Brennan has been Obama's counterterrorism adviser.

Obama's selections require Senate approval. While saying he has not decided whether he will vote to confirm or deny the nominations, Coats added, "I do have serious reservations about both."

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., who was sworn in as a new senator Thursday, did not tip his hand on how he might vote regarding Hagel or Brennan.

"I look forward to reviewing Senator Hagel's record and qualifications for the position," Donnelly said in a statement.

Donnelly is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which will conduct hearings on Hagel's nomination. Coats is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which will have hearings on Brennan's nomination.

For more on this story, see Tuesday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit after 3 a.m. Tuesday.