Trump plans to install a crony at the top of the US intelligence apparatus: report
President Donald Trump is planning to appoint Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) to become the director of national intelligence, according to multiple reports including Axios and the New York Times. He will replace Dan Coats, who currently fills the Cabinet-level role overseeing the country's intelligence agencies.
Ratcliffe is an aggressive defender of the president. During Wednesday's congressional hearings with the former special counsel, the Texas Republican accused Robert Mueller of not following the guidelines of his office because he didn't reach a prosecutorial decision regarding the president. Ratcliffe, like many Republicans, took umbrage with Mueller's asserting that he did not "exonerate" the Trump, saying that "exoneration" is never a prosecutor's job. Mueller, however, argued that the unique situation of examining potential presidential crimes was an unusual case.
Coats has long seemed at odds with the president's view of the intelligence community and foreign policy. Most notably, he appeared stunned when the president announced that he would like to have Russian President Vladimir Putin visit the White House. He burst out laughing at the news.
"OK! That's going to be special," Coats said. The meeting never materialized.
Coats will step down in the coming days, the Times reported.