Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats is leaving his post, effective Aug. 15, President Trump tweeted on Sunday.
Trump thanked Coats for his "great service to our country," and said an acting director will be named soon. He also revealed he plans on nominating Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) to replace Coats. First elected to Congress in 2014, Ratcliffe is a Trump loyalist and skeptic of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Coats is a former Republican senator from Indiana, who was often at odds with Trump on important matters like whether North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will ever give up his nuclear weapons. He also made waves last July during an interview with NBC News' Andrea Mitchell at the Aspen Security Forum; after she announced that the Trump administration had invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington, D.C., he made it clear this was news to him, laughing uncomfortably and saying, "That's gonna be special." This caused an "uproar" at the White House, staffers told The Washington Post.