Former CIA Director Leon Panetta on Thursday said he supports President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE’s pick to fill the position.

"He's somebody who understands the intelligence agencies, is smart and I think will be a good director," Panetta said of Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), Trump’s choice for CIA head.

Panetta, who also served as President Obama’s secretary of Defense, has similarly supported Trump’s Defense secretary pick, retired Marine Gen. James Mattis.


During his confirmation hearing Thursday, Pompeo said he would not restart the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques if he were approved for the position.

"Moreover, I can’t imagine that I would be asked that by the president-elect,” Pompeo said in response to questions from Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGOP's Kennedy sends warning shot to Trump nominee Menashi Democratic senators quietly hope Biden wins over rivals Grassley: Kavanaugh classmate didn't contact Senate panel MORE (D-Calif.).

Pompeo said he agreed that it would require a change in law for the CIA to legally employ interrogation techniques beyond those contained in the Army Field Manual.

Trump has said in the past that he wants to bring back waterboarding and "a hell of a lot worse."