Trump To Pick Former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats For National Intelligence Director: Sources

January 05, 2017
 
Former Joint Economic Committee Chairman Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind. speaks at the conclusion of a hearing with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016.

Former Joint Economic Committee Chairman Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind. speaks at the conclusion of a hearing with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016.

Susan Walsh/Associated Press

President-elect Donald Trump will appoint former Indiana Senator Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence, according to anonymous sources cited by the Associated Press and the Washington Post. Coats is a conservative Republican who spent 16 years in the Senate and eight years in the House, plus a stint as U-S ambassador to Germany.

The 73-year-old Coats announced his retirement from the Senate last year and did not seek re-election. 

The pick could be announced later this week, according to a person briefed Thursday on the decision. The person was but not authorized to speak publicly about the matter and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity. 

When Sen. Coats announced in 2015 that he would not seek re-election, NPR’s Ron Elving reported that “although he has been a stalwart Republican through a turbulent generation in Washington, Coats seems less at home in the hyper-partisan world of Congress today”.

Current Democratic Indiana U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly praised the nomination, saying in a statement the former Senator is "clear-eyed about the intelligence threats we face, including from Vladimir Putin and Russia."  Meanwhile, GOP Indiana Congressman Todd Rokita says Coats has the “knowledge and experience necessary for the job, and will ensure that our national intelligence community is run with Hoosier common sense.”

Trump's decision to nominate Coats for Director of National Intelligence comes as he has been sharply critical of the nation's intelligence agencies and has cast doubt about their conclusion that Russia was behind hacking to influence last year's elections. 

Trump on Friday will meet with directors of the FBI and CIA, as well as current DNI James Clapper to be briefed on their findings. 

Story source: AP