Trump says director of national intelligence is resigning

John Ratcliffe Top Candidate for DNI

Coats, the current US director of national intelligence who has clashed with Trump over assessments involving Russia, Iran and North Korea, will step down on August 15, the president said on Twitter.

Multiple reports said Trump had been talking up Ratcliffe as a possible replacement for Coats in recent weeks, and the announcement of his pending departure came as no surprise.

Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe, who questioned former Special Counsel Robert Mueller at both House hearings, says President Trump came out the victor because impeachment is dead.

Mr Coats, a former Republican senator, served in Mr Trump's cabinet.

A year later, Coats opposed Trump's contention that Russian Federation had no motive for interfering in the 2016 U.S. elections. He said he will nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, to the post and that he will name an acting official in the coming days. "But that is the president's prerogative", Coats said.

The next day, Trump complained on Twitter about the "passive and naive" USA intelligence leaders, suggesting they "go back to school!"

Trump has given Attorney General William P. Barr unusual authority to investigate the intelligence agencies' role in the probe of Russian election interference. Coats had felt isolated and left out of important national security decision-making, the former official said. Previously he had also been the U.S. ambassador to Germany.

Coats' confirmation vote in March of 2017 was among the least contentious for a Trump cabinet-level official, with his former colleagues voting to confirm him, 85-12.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats frequently appeared out of step with Donald Trump and disclosed to prosecutors how he was urged by the president to publicly deny any link between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Coats regularly attends the president's daily intelligence briefing session, along with CIA Director Gina Haspel and a senior USA intelligence official.

Coats, in testimony to Congress as part of annual national intelligence assessment, said North Korea would be "unlikely" to give up its nuclear weapons or its ability to produce them because "its leaders ultimately view nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival".

Coats, 76, served in Congress from 1981 to 1999 as a member of the House and in the Senate.



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