Trump makes it official; nominates Coats for intel director

Trump makes it official; nominates Coats for intel director

President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE announced Saturday that he would nominate former Sen. Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsFormer US intel official says Trump would often push back in briefings Hillicon Valley: Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract in court | State antitrust investigation into Google expands | Intel agencies no longer collecting location data without warrant Intelligence agencies have stopped collecting cellphone data without warrants: letter MORE (R-Ind.) to be the director of national intelligence.

Reports had emerged on Friday that Coats, who left the Senate at the end of the last Congress and met with Trump in November, would be the pick.

“Dan has clearly demonstrated the deep subject matter expertise and sound judgment required to lead our intelligence community,” Trump said in a statement. 

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“If confirmed as Director of National Intelligence, he will provide unwavering leadership that the entire intelligence community can respect, and will spearhead my administration’s ceaseless vigilance against those who seek to do us harm.”

Coats would lead the Intelligence Community’s 16 agencies should he be confirmed for the post. 

The Indiana senator would not be expected to have trouble in winning confirmation. 

He's a former member of the Senate Intelligence Committee who is also a former U.S. ambassador to Germany. 

In 2014, Coats was banned from Russia in retaliation for his support for a series of sanctions levied against Moscow after it annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine. 

Trump, for his part, has talked of cooperating with Russia in the fight against terrorism while building a more positive relationship, something that has drawn concern from some GOP lawmakers, such as Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay Budowsky: Would John McCain back impeachment? MORE (R-Ariz.).

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“It is an honor to be nominated as Director of National Intelligence,” Sen. Coats said in a statement issued by the Trump transition team.

“A robust and responsible intelligence infrastructure is essential to our homeland security, and if confirmed I will ensure our national security decision-makers have every piece of information they need to protect the American people from the threats facing our nation.”

Coats would lead a community that has been at the center of a fight with Trump over Russian interference in the U.s. election.

The intelligence community released a report on Friday stating that Russian interfered in the election with the hope of helping Trump.

The ODNI oversees the 16 agencies that make up the so-called Intelligence Community.