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U.S. intelligence chief will resign: Trump

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on July 29, 2019 - Duration: 01:50s

U.S. intelligence chief will resign: Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump announces that the man he made Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, is stepping down.

Trump also says he plans to nominate John Ratcliffe, a Congressman from Texas who has spoken out in defense of the president.

Eve Johnson reports.

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U.S. intelligence chief will resign: Trump

America's spy chief is stepping down.

Republican Dan Coats was appointed Director of National Intelligence in 2017.

But he's spent the past two years clashing with the person who gave him the job: President Donald Trump Trump confirmed the news on Twitter Sunday (July 28) night, saying he'd be nominating John Ratcliffe for the post.

Ratcliffe is a congressman from Texas and staunch supporter of the president Coats joins a long list of senior officials to leave the Trump administration.

He's disagreed sharply with the president on issues such as North Korea, Iran and Russia's interference in U.S. politics.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DAN COATS, SAYING: "The intelligence community continues to be concerned about the threats of upcoming U.S. elections.

We continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russia to try to weaken and divide the United States" U.S. intelligence agencies found Russia did try to undermine the 2016 presidential race.

But Trump has taken a more conciliatory approach towards Moscow appearing to brush the matter off at a G20 meeting in June while sitting next to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "Don't meddle in the election, don't meddle in the election." But the man Trump wants to nominate as the next National Intelligence Director seems to be more in line with the president.

John Ratcliffe defended Trump at a congressional hearing last week, challenging Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference and Trump's potential obstruction of justice.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. REPRESENTATIVE JOHN RATCLIFFE, SAYING: "I agree with the chairman this morning when he said, 'Donald Trump is not above the law.'

He's not, but he damn sure shouldn't be below the law which is where Volume II of this report puts him." Coats will step down on August 15.

Trump says he'll be naming an acting director soon.

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