TODAY   |  February 08, 2013

Tough questions for CIA nominee Brennan

Faced with questions about Libya and  enhanced interrogation methods, citizen protestors and complaints from senators who say the CIA and White House won’t give them answers, John Brennan promised more transparency if confirmed as the next CIA director. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports.

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>>> tough questions for cia director nominee john brennan . nbc's capital hill correspondent kelly o'donnell has more. good morning, kelly.

>> good morning, natalie. some of the country's deepest secrets were part of the intense hearings, grilling top officials over benghazi attacks and those drone strikes and that attracted protesters.

>> pakistan, omalia.

>> reporter: anger over targeted killings.

>> please remove --

>> reporter: and senators who say the cia and white house won't give them answers.

>> the committee is just stonewalled.

>> reporter: john brennan , if confirmed as the next cia director . but struggled to explain if he was involved in waterboarding yet --

>> i did not stop the use of those techniques.

>> reporter: he once said those techniques had saved lives but now --

>> waterboarding is something that never should have been employed.

>> reporter: senators pressed outgoing leon panetta and dempsey about whether military help was too far away to rescue the slain americans.

>> the biggest problem that night, senator, is that nobody really knew what was going on there.

>> reporter: and republicans pounced on testimony but after first informing the president about the attack, neither man heard directly from him as the siege unfolded.

>> did the president show any curiosity about how is this going?

>> there is no question in my mind the president of the united states was concerned about american lives.

>> with all due respect, i don't believe that's a credible statement, if he never called and asked you, are we helping these people or what's happening?

>> and on the issue the power the president has on those drone strikes, senators are saying they want to set up a process to oversee that and make sure everything is being done properly. natalie?