Coats praises ‘friend’ McCain for his leadership

Coats praises ‘friend’ McCain for his leadership
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Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsDem lawmakers slam Trump’s declassification of Russia documents as ‘brazen abuse of power’ Nunes: Russia probe documents should be released before election The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Cuomo wins and Manafort plea deal MORE on Monday praised the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump hits McCain on ObamaCare vote GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game Arizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ MORE (R-Ariz.) for his leadership in Congress. 

Coats, a former Republican congressman and senator from Indiana, said in a statement that he was “privileged” to have served with McCain in both chambers of Congress, calling the late senator a friend.

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“John and I traveled together extensively both overseas and domestically, and I witnessed the leadership he demonstrated on behalf of the people of Arizona and the United States, especially when representing our military men and women,” Coats said. 

“I enjoyed my work with him on many difficult issues, as well as the passionate debates we had on areas where we disagreed, and I am proud to call John my colleague and more importantly my friend,” Coats said.

He added that he and his wife “extend our deepest condolences to Cindy and to his family,” referring to McCain's wife.

McCain died Saturday evening, a little more than a year after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. Several current and former officials have since celebrated the Republican senator for his legacy and political achievements and sent condolences to his family.

McCain, a veteran of the U.S. Navy before serving in Congress, will be honored with a week of memorial services and then laid to rest at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

The statement from Coats came after The Washington Post reported Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE scuttled a plan for the White House to issue an official statement on McCain’s death. Instead, Trump reacted to the news in a tweet late Saturday, extending his “deepest sympathies and respect” to McCain’s family. “Our hearts and prayers are with you!” he wrote.

Coats represented Indiana in the House in the 1980s and later the Senate. Trump tapped him to be his top intelligence official in early January 2017, before taking office.