United States President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats would step down from his post on August 15. Trump said he would name an acting director shortly.
“I would like to thank Dan for his great service to our country,” Trump said on Twitter. He said he would nominate Congressman John Ratcliffe to the post.
“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,” Trump tweeted. “A former U.S. Attorney, John will lead and inspire greatness for the Country he loves.”
Coats, who was out of step with the US president on matters related to Russia and North Korea, told Trump last week that he would quit his post, The New York Times reported. John Ratcliffe is said to be a Trump loyalist who has backed the president’s theories on the Russia investigation.
Ratcliffe had asked Special Counsel Robert Mueller III, who headed the investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 United States presidential elections, some tough questions at hearings last week. Trump had met Ratcliffe on July 19 to discuss the job of director of national intelligence, The New York Times said.
Senator Richard M Burr, the president of the Senate Intelligence Committee, reportedly cautioned Trump’s advisors that Ratcliffe was too political for the post, an advice the president disregarded.
Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, a Democratic Party leader, praised Coats. “The mission of the intelligence community is to speak truth to power,” he tweeted. “As DNI, Dan Coats stayed true to that mission. Thank you for your service, Director Coats.