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Republicans Asked For Former Obama Official's Keystone Testimony

Former Marine Corps Commandant Jim Jones, the president's first National Security Adviser, is testifying at a Senate hearing on the Keystone pipeline Thursday. But he's not doing it at the request of Democrats.

Posted on March 11, 2014, at 4:52 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — Former White House National Security Adviser Jim Jones, now a lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, will testify Thursday at a Senate Keystone pipeline hearing at the request of Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, committee sources told BuzzFeed Tuesday.

Jones is expected to testify in favor of the pipeline project at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on whether or not Keystone is in the "national interest." That's the central question for an ongoing State Department review of the KeystoneXL proposal related to the project, which will cross the Canadian border into the United States.

Though he was President Obama's first National Security Adviser, Jones is testifying at the request of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee minority, led by Corker. The Tennessee senator is a strong proponent of Keystone and Jones' testimony is expected to support the views of Keystone supporters.

"As a respected former national security official in the Obama administration with more than 40 years of distinguished public service to his credit, Gen. Jim Jones is an appropriate person to discuss the importance of approving the Keystone pipeline based on core national interests of the United States," a minority aide to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said. "We're hopeful his testimony will provide useful evidence for the State Department and the president to approve the project, which will benefit our economy and enhance both our national and energy security."

A call placed to Jones' Virginia-based consulting business about his planned testimony was not returned.

In addition to his work for the American Petroleum Institute, Jones has been a paid lobbyist for the Chamber Of Commerce, another Keystone proponent.