Home National News Dan Coats, Trump’s Top Intel Official, to depart the White House

Dan Coats, Trump’s Top Intel Official, to depart the White House


John Fritze, David Jackson and Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats is leaving the White House, capping a tumultuous tenure in which President Donald Trump repeatedly questioned U.S. intelligence assessments around the globe.

The departure was confirmed to USA TODAY by a Trump Administration official who was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter. The official also confirmed reports that Coats is expected to be replaced by Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe.

Coats has clashed with Trump over North Korea and Russia and the former Indiana senator has widely been considered among the most vulnerable members of the president’s administration – even as both men have downplayed talk of tension.

It’s unclear when he will leave his post.

At a time when Trump was repeatedly describing the situation on the U.S.-Mexico border as a national security crisis, Coats declined to include immigration as a major threat facing the country when he spoke to lawmakers in January.

Coats also appeared to break with the White House on North Korea, asserting that Pyongyang was unlikely to give up its nuclear weapons program. Trump has made nuclear disarmament a condition of lifting U.S. sanctions on North Korea, and has held up that goal as central to his effort to improve relations with Kim.

Trump later asserted that his intelligence officials had been taken out of context.

The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media. I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear……..

Trump has previously considered Ratcliffe for other jobs in the administration.

During last week’s high profile hearing, Ratcliffe admonished former special counsel Robert Mueller for saying he could not exonerate Trump on obstruction of justice claims.