TODAY | February 08, 2013
>>> 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?