[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/05/art.getty.dianne.feinstein.jpg caption="Sen. Dianne Feinstein believes the CIA is best-served by having an intelligence professional in charge."](CNN) –- Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Senate’s incoming Intelligence committee chair, slammed President-elect Barack Obama’s choice of Leon Panetta as director of the CIA Monday.
“I was not informed about the selection of Leon Panetta to be the CIA Director. I know nothing about this, other than what I’ve read,” Feinstein said in a statement. “My position has consistently been that I believe the Agency is best-served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time.”
A Feinstein spokesman told CNN’s Dana Bash that the California senator found out about Obama’s pick after her staff showed her a New York Times report.
"The President-elect will now have a chance to make his arguments,” the spokesman said. “Her next move is to listen."
Feinstein is the new chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. While Panetta’s political career - as a congressman, and as President Clinton’s chief of staff - spans three decades, he has little hands-on intelligence experience.
–CNN’s Pam Benson contributed to this report.