Senate confirms Trump’s new NSA director

Senate confirms Trump’s new NSA director
© Greg Nash

The Senate has approved President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE’s choice to lead the National Security Agency (NSA) and U.S. Cyber Command.

The upper chamber approved the nomination of Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone in a voice vote Tuesday morning. Nakasone will replace outgoing NSA Director Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersWhy states should push forward with cyber laws Getting real about Huawei Ex-House Intel chair: Intel panel is wrong forum to investigate Trump's finances MORE.

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Nakasone, who has most recently helmed the U.S. Army’s cyber operations, is widely cheered by current and former officials as a qualified choice. He was commissioned as a military intelligence officer more than three decades ago, serving in key roles at the NSA and Cyber Command.

Nakasone sailed through confirmation hearings before the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence committees last month, earning broad praise from lawmakers in both parties. 

At the helm of the NSA, Nakasone will oversee the U.S. government’s foreign and counterintelligence collection, an operation that has increasingly drawn scrutiny since the 2013 disclosures by NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Nakasone will serve in the dual-hatted position of NSA director and commander of Cyber Command, the Pentagon’s burgeoning cyber warfare unit, while the Trump administration continues to study whether to separate the two organizations.

Trump nominated Nakasone to serve as NSA director in mid-February, after Rogers revealed plans to retire.