Senate confirms Trump’s new NSA director

Senate confirms Trump’s new NSA director
© Greg Nash

The Senate has approved President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS 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 RogersHillicon Valley: Warren takes on Facebook over political ads | Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservatives | Civil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill Civil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill Extremists find new home in online app Telegram 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.