WASHINGTON (AP) — Acting CIA Director Michael Morell will accompany U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice when she visits key lawmakers.
The visits come as President Barack Obama decides who will succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state.
Rice is believed to be the top contender for the post despite questions from GOP critics about her comments about the deadly Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. Consulate in Libya.
According to congressional aides and administration officials, Rice will be making the rounds on Capitol Hill this week for closed door meetings with Senators whose support she will need to be confirmed.
A senior Senate aide said the administration was trying to measure the strength of the Republican opposition to a Rice nomination, sounding out the more moderate members of the Foreign Relations Committee such as Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. He's in line to become the panel's top Republican next year.
APPHOTO WX105: FILE - This April 14, 2012 file photo shows U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice speaking at U.N. headquarters. With congressional opposition softening, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice could find her name in contention as early as this week to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state. Her nomination to the top Cabinet job could signal the potential for a more robust intervention in world crises in President Barack Obama's second term. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File) (14 Apr 2012)
<<APPHOTO WX105 (04/14/12)>>
APPHOTO DCSA117: Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., arrives for a closed-door meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee investigating the Sept. 11 assault on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where Ambassador Chris Stevens and other embassy staff were killed, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (13 Nov 2012)
<<APPHOTO DCSA117 (11/13/12)>>