Pence convinced Coats to stay in Trump administration: report

Vice President Pence persuaded Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsHillicon Valley: Tim Cook visits White House | House hearing grapples with deepfake threat | Bill, Melinda Gates launch lobbying group | Tech turns to K-Street in antitrust fight | Lawsuit poses major threat to T-Mobile, Sprint merger Hillicon Valley: Tim Cook visits White House | House hearing grapples with deepfake threat | Bill, Melinda Gates launch lobbying group | Tech turns to K-Street in antitrust fight | Lawsuit poses major threat to T-Mobile, Sprint merger House Intel to take first major deep dive into threat of 'deepfakes' 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 TrumpBooker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Booker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Trump says Democrats are handing out subpoenas 'like they're cookies' 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.

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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 MattisThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump's reelection message: Promises kept The Hill's Morning Report - Trump's reelection message: Promises kept Shanahan drama shocks Capitol Hill, leaving Pentagon rudderless 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.