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Who faces tougher nomination: John Brennan at CIA or Chuck Hagel at defense?

Early Monday afternoon, President Obama will nominate John Brennan to head the CIA and Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense. But both Hagel and Brennan may face an uphill nomination process.

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John Brennan (L) and former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R) of Nebrask. Obama wants Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary and John Brennan as the new CIA director.

REUTERS/Files

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President Barack Obama on Monday will nominate Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, two potentially controversial picks for his second-term national security team.

Hagel has faced tough criticism from congressional Republicans who say the former Republican senator is anti-Israel and soft on Iran. Brennan, a 25-year CIA veteran, withdrew from consideration for the spy agency's top job in 2008 amid questions about his connection to criticized interrogation techniques during the George W. Bush administration.

The White House said Obama will announce both nominations Monday afternoon at 1 p.m.. Along with secretary of state nominee Sen. John Kerry, Hagel and Brennan would play key roles implementing and shaping Obama's national security priorities. All three must be confirmed by the Senate.

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