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National intelligence chief Dan Coats to resign next month, tweets Trump


United States President Donald Trump in a series of tweets on Sunday announced that Dan Coats, the director of US National Intelligence, is stepping down from his post and will be replaced by Texas Republican Representative, John Ratcliffe, next month.
"I am pleased to announce that highly respected Congressman John Ratcliffe of Texas will be nominated by me to be the Director of National Intelligence. A former U.S. Attorney, John will lead and inspire greatness for the country he loves," the President wrote.
"Dan Coats, the current Director, will be leaving office on August 15th. I would like to thank Dan for his great service to our country. The Acting Director will be named shortly," he added.
The departure marks the most recent chapter in Trump's tense and puzzling relationship with the United States intelligence community, reported CNN.
Ratcliffe had aggressively questioned former special counsel Robert Mueller last week during Congressional hearings involving his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Coats, on the other hand, has clashed with the President on several issues.
For example, Coats publicly criticised the President's relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and raised questions about his motivations, particularly over possible collusion between Moscow and members of his 2016 presidential campaign.
Also on North Korea, despite Trump's assertion that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will move toward giving up his nuclear weapons, Coats and other officials are still of the opinion that it was their assessment that Kim would never likely do so.
Trump's evident hostility and distrust of his own intelligence agencies made Coats' job as director arguably one of the most politically fraught in Washington. His departure is just the latest in the churn among the President's most senior officials, including Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and Nikki Haley as ambassador to the United Nations.
Coats, a former ambassador and Republican senator from Indiana, praised for his bipartisan professionalism, stepped into the job leading US spy agencies and serving as the President's principal adviser on intelligence in March 2017.

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First Published: Jul 29 2019 | 4:05 AM IST

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