Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, President Barack Obama’s nominee to succeed Dennis Blair as the director of national intelligence, was endorsed June 8 by U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), chairman of the House Intelligence technical and tactical intelligence subcommittee.

The House of Representatives has no formal say on presidential nominees, but Ruppersberger said in a press release he would urge his colleagues in the Senate to confirm the president’s choice for the intelligence post.

Clapper, he said, “tells it like it is and gives honest assessments of situations.”

Clapper, a 32-year Air Force veteran currently serving as undersecretary of defense for intelligence, was director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency from 2001 to 2006. He also led the Defense Intelligence Agency from 1991 to 1995 and commanded a signal intelligence wing at Fort Meade, the U.S. Army installation in Ruppersberger’s Maryland congressional district that hosts the National Security Agency.