Pence convinced Coats to stay in Trump administration: report

Vice President Pence persuaded Director of National Intelligence 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 not to resign from his post last year, according to a report from NBC News.

Coats had reportedly grown increasingly frustrated with President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE after the president pressured him to find evidence that former President Obama wiretapped him, told him to question the impartiality of the U.S. intelligence community and accused him of leaking classified information.


In December, Coats was prepared to quit after Trump announced the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Syria, leading to then-Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Watchdog to audit company's border wall contract | Pentagon to step up vetting of foreign students after Pensacola | Report finds former defense official sexually harassed staffers Threatening foreign states with sanctions can backfire Overnight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families MORE’s abrupt resignation, according to NBC. Pence, a frequent intermediary between Trump and his fellow Indianan, convinced Coats to stay, former and current administration officials told the network.

NBC reported that Coats’s frustration has largely derived from a sense that Trump does not take intelligence advisers seriously on issues including North Korea and Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Pence has also frequently dissuaded Trump from firing Coats, whom the president calls “Mr. Rogers,” according to NBC.

"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,” Coats said in a statement to the network. 

In February, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy, a Trump confidant, told CNN there was “general disappointment” with Coats in the White House after he testified in January that North Korea was not likely to abandon its nuclear weapons program.  

Trump denied the same week that he was considering firing Coats, telling reporters he hadn’t “even thought about it.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday from The Hill.