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Elizabeth Warren 'can be difficult,' Republican Frank Keating says

Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating told CNBC on Friday he is surprised by Sen. Elizabeth Warren's urgency to designate a new Securities and Exchange Commission chair, even at one point calling the senator "difficult."

The Democratic senator sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Friday, asking him to replace Mary Jo White as head of the SEC. Warren said White has refused to develop a political spending disclosure rule that would force companies to reveal their political contributions.

But Keating, a Republican former U.S. attorney in Oklahoma, doesn't see the urgency. He said White will likely be replaced soon anyway.

"Elizabeth Warren can be difficult on occasion, but she is a United States senator," Keating said on "Squawk on the Street."

"Apparently, [White] is going to be gone anyway. The new president will more than likely select their own person, so I'm surprised here with just a few days left, if you will, before the end of the term that the senator is so insistent that she step down."

It remains to be seen if White will indeed be replaced. Keating added that White's perceived "carefulness" is understandable and said she has done a good job.

"When you're dealing with the jurisdiction the SEC has, you have to move carefully, you have to move precisely, you have to make sure you don't spook markets ... and what you do is accurate, legal and subject to obviously appropriate congressional or public oversight," he said.