Dan Coats expected to step down as Trump’s Director of National Intelligence

Axios and New York Times predict latest White House departure. Texas congressman John Ratcliffe in frame as replacement

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Dan Coats
Coats is a former Republican representative and senator from Indiana who has also been ambassador to Germany.

US director of national intelligence Dan Coats is expected to step down and be replaced by Texas congressman John Ratcliffe, according to multiple reports on Sunday.

He has been director of national intelligence since the start of the Trump presidency in 2017. He has reportedly clashed with Donald Trump on several issues.

For example, Coats publicly criticised the president’s relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin and told a Senate panel he considered it unlikely North Korea would give up nuclear arms.

According to Axios, Trump could still change his mind. But the website and the New York Times both reported that Ratcliffe was his likely replacement.

Reuters said a “person with direct knowledge of that matter” said Coats had advised Trump “he planned to step down fairly soon” and offered thoughts on who might succeed him.

Earlier this month, Politico reported that the president had met with California representative and key supporter Devin Nunes.

Dan Coats
Daniel Coats, director of National Intelligence, testifies on Worldwide Threats during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, January 29, 2019.

But the Texan reportedly won Trump’s approval with his aggressive questioning of former special counsel Robert Mueller during hearings on Capitol Hill this week.

“I agree with Chairman Nadler this morning when he said Donald Trump is not above the law,” Ratcliffe said during the judiciary committee session.

“But he damn sure should not be below the law, which is where volume two of this report puts him.”

Coats did not immediately comment on Sunday. He dismissed earlier reports of his likely exit as “frustrating”.

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