Donald Trump appoints new intelligence czar
US intelligence boss Dan Coats, who once publicly acknowledged being blinded by White House invitation to the Russian president, is stepping down and will be succeeded by Republican congressman John Ratcliffe, who reportedly impressed President Donald Trump with his aggressive grilling of Special counsel Robert Mueller last week, clinching the job.
President Trump announced the switch Sunday afternoon on Twitter: “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. 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.”
Coats’s tenure as Director of National Intelligence, an agency created in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks to oversee and coordinate the work of 16 intelligence services, had been in jeopardy for a while, specially after he admitted being kept out of the loop on the invitation to President Vladimir Putin.
Coats had not major interactions with Indian counterparts, and his exit is not likely to impact intelligence cooperation between the two counties, which are covered and guaranteed by institutions mechanisms that transcend individual players, irrespective of their political affiliations.
“I am deeply grateful to President Trump for the opportunity to lead our Nation’s intelligence community and work on behalf of all the public servants who are tirelessly devoted to defending the security and safety of the United States,” Representative Ratcliffe wrote in a response tweet.
Ratcliffe, a member of the House of Representative from Texas, made an impression on President Trump, the New York Times reported, with his aggressive questioning of former Special Counsel Robert Muller ata congressional hearing into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections last week.