Politico – B. Thompson frustrated b/c of subpar communications with the White House

Should the secretary appear — Napolitano is scheduled to return from a trip abroad a day before the scheduled Jan. 27 hearing — she will face questions from both Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and the fiery top Republican, Rep. Peter King of New York.

Thompson said he “won’t give her an unequivocal endorsement because there have been missteps,” but he isn’t calling for her resignation.

Thompson says he is frustrated with the Obama White House and Napolitano for what he considers subpar communication with the House committee. Since the incident two weeks ago, Thompson said he has not spoken with National Security Adviser Jim Jones or top presidential adviser John Brennan. Thompson, however, has spoken to Napolitano at least twice since the incident, he said.

On Friday afternoon, Thompson was preparing a letter to President Barack Obama outlining concerns he has with how the White House handled the Christmas Day plot.

“There is real concern on the committee that the communication between Napolitano and the House Homeland Security Committee is not where it should be,” Thompson told POLITICO Friday morning. “The secretary is not as communicative with members of Congress as she needs to be.”

Thompson’s comments show the fine line Democrats are walking on the terrorism investigation. They want to look tough and demand responsibility from the White House, but they don’t want to do any serious political damage.

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