Dan Coats expected to step down as director of national intelligence

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats attends a cabinet meeting at the White House July 16, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Dan Coats is expected to soon step down as the director of national intelligence, according to a person familiar with the movement.

He would likely be replaced by Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas, the Times reported Sunday, citing people familiar with the decision.

Coats’ departure marks the most recent chapter in Trump’s tense relationship with U.S. intelligence community, a group of more than a dozen agencies the president has often expressed disagreements with.

Coats, a former ambassador and Republican senator from Indiana praised for his bipartisan professionalism, stepped into the role leading US spy agencies and serving as the President’s principal adviser on intelligence in March 2017.

Vice President Mike Pence was one of Coats’ closest allies as the two men shared a long history dating back to their time in Congress.

But Trump and Coats never forged a particularly close relationship and the President has voiced frustrations about Coats, telling advisers that he considered Coats in line with other top officials who have sought to restrain him, such as former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and former White House chief of staff John Kelly.

The 76-year-old Coats served in the military before going to law school. He joined the House of Representatives in 1981 and then moved on to the Senate before being appointed US ambassador to Germany in 2001, during President George W. Bush’s first term. In 2011, Coats returned to the Senate, where he served on the Intelligence and Armed Services committees, retiring in 2017.

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