McConnell Picks Rubio to Replace Burr Atop Intelligence Panel

(Bloomberg) -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell named Senator Marco Rubio as acting chairman of the Intelligence Committee on Monday, replacing Richard Burr, who stepped aside amid a federal investigation into his stock trading.

McConnell said he expects Rubio, a Florida Republican, to “help ensure the intelligence community stays ahead of our adversaries, out of politics, and out of the press.”

McConnell said the nation’s intelligence professionals “by and large” are dedicated and hard-working, with a caveat.

“As recent years have made painfully clear with respect to federal law enforcement, we also need proactive leadership from within and thorough oversight from Congress to keep partisan bias and political interference out of these sensitive activities,” he said.

Rubio was the “natural choice,” McConnell said, noting his decade of experience on the committee as well as on the Foreign Relations panel.

“On subjects ranging from China and Russia to Iran and North Korea to tyranny and unrest in our own hemisphere, Senator Rubio has been on the case for years,” McConnell said.

McConnell said earlier Monday that the committee this week will advance the nomination of Texas Representative John Ratcliffe to become the director of national intelligence.

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