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CIA director Tenet to stay on with Bush administration

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President-elect George W. Bush has asked CIA Director George Tenet to remain in his post indefinitely and Tenet has accepted, Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer said Tuesday.

"Director Tenet has been asked to stay on the job for what will amount to an undetermined period of time," Fleischer said.

Asked how long that could be, Fleischer said, "It'll be something that the president-elect will decide at a later period."

Tenet personally participated in a national security briefing for the incoming president last week, but Fleischer said he did not know exactly when the offer was made.

Tenet took the reins of the agency in July 1997, making him Clinton's third CIA chief. He is credited with improving morale in the agency after years of cutbacks and the Aldrich Ames spy scandal.

Recently, he has also helped Clinton with the delicate diplomacy of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, meeting with security officials from both sides in an effort to ease the tensions in the region.

Tenet came to lead the CIA after a career as a Washington staffer. Unlike many CIA directors, he was neither a career CIA official nor a prominent business, military or political figure.

The son of Greek immigrants who grew up in New York, Tenet is a graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Affairs and Columbia University. He served on the staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee from 1985 to 1992, and on the White House National Security Council from 1993 to 1995.

Reuters contributed to this report.

 
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Tuesday, January 16, 2001


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