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Report: Trump considering replacement for Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats
Sources close to the White House report that President Donald Trump is looking seriously at replacements for Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, the Washington Times reported.
Trump has been unhappy with Coats for months since Coats appeared to criticize Trump during an NBC interview, Axios reported earlier in July.
Coats also told the Senate in January that North Korea is unlikely to give up its nuclear weapons, a direct contradiction to Trump’s claims.
Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Fred Fleitz, who previously served as chief of staff to National Security Adviser John Bolton are both under consideration for the job.
Trump reportedly tried to get rid of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence because he considers it redundant and unnecessary, but was told he couldn’t eliminate it entirely. Instead, Trump is now trying to downsize the office.
Time for a change?
“It’s time for a change. Dan’s a great guy but the president doesn’t listen to him anymore,” one government source said.
“He’ll be gone,” another one told the Daily Caller.
One source of contention could be a replacement’s view about military action. Trump does not want any ongoing wars and has worked to get the U.S. out of Afghanistan and Iraq.
“I don’t want a war with Iran,” Fleitz said in late June. “I know that this president was elected to get us out of wars and not to start new wars.”
“That’s been a big rift in the Republican Party,” a source said about how to use military force and aggression.
Fleitz is a conservative candidate who would help to break up deep state domination in the intelligence community. Many in the IC have made statements or taken actions against Trump, including former DNI James Clapper, former CIA director John Brennan, and former FBI director James Comey.
Coats frustrated by rumors
For his part, Coats has expressed frustration about the rumors. “I am focused on doing my job, and it is frustrating to repeatedly be asked to respond to anonymous sources and unsubstantiated, often false rumors that undercut the critical work of the Intelligence Community and its relationship with the President,” he said.
“I am proud to lead an IC singularly focused on the vital mission of providing timely and unbiased intelligence to President Trump, Vice President Pence and the national security team in support of our nation’s security,” he said.
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