US intelligence chief Dan Coats will leave office on August 15, President Donald Trump announced on Sunday, the latest high-profile departure from his turnover-plagued administration.
Coats was regularly at odds with Trump during his tenure as Director of National Intelligence and at times appears to have been kept in the dark by his administration. But he had tried to avoid a direct confrontation with the President.
Trump tweeted that he plans to nominate Representative John Ratcliffe of Texas, who serves on the House intelligence, judiciary and homeland security committees, as the next official to oversee and coordinate the CIA, NSA and other espionage bodies.
'A former U.S. Attorney, John will lead and inspire greatness for the country he loves,' Trump wrote, also thanking Mr. Coats 'for his great service to our country.' If Ratcliffe's nomination is approved, Trump will get an intelligence chief who is more in sync with his views.
In Congress, he has been a staunch defender of Trump and has criticized two of the President's nemeses, the former FBI chief, James Comey, and the special counsel, Robert Mueller.
Ratcliffe has also said he has 'seen no evidence' that Russian election meddling helped bring Trump to office. He has backed the President's assertion that court-approved surveillance of his campaign amounted to spying, and has supported his hawkish policy on Iran.