Trump again considering dismissing intelligence chief Dan Coats: report

Trump again considering dismissing intelligence chief Dan Coats: report
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE is reportedly considering the dismissal of Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsTrump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move Hillicon Valley: Deepfakes pose 2020 test for media | States beg Congress for more election security funds | Experts worry campaigns falling short on cybersecurity | Trump officials urge reauthorization of NSA surveillance program Trump administration urges Congress to reauthorize NSA surveillance program MORE.

A senior White House official told CNN that there is some discussion about a possible Coats departure. 

It is unclear, however, whether Trump would actually act as a result of these discussions, according to the network, which has previously reported that Trump considered replacing Coats.

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Axios first reported that President Trump told confidants he was thinking about replacing Coats, citing five sources.

Two sources told CNN that Fred Fleitz, the former chief of staff to national security adviser John BoltonJohn Robert BoltonTrump meets with national security team on Afghanistan peace plan Live-action 'Mulan' star spurs calls for boycott with support of Hong Kong police A US-UK free trade agreement can hold the Kremlin to account MORE, has been floated as a possible replacement to Coats. A source familiar told CNN that Bolton is boosting Fleitz.

Coats dismissed the reports in a statement, telling The Hill the "rumors" are "frustrating."

"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," he said.

"I am proud to lead an IC singularly focused on the vital mission of providing timely and unbiased intelligence to President Trump, Vice President Pence and the national security team in support of our nation’s security."

It was rumored earlier this year that Coats would be ousted from the administration.

And in March, NBC reported that Vice President Pence had to convince Coats not to leave his post months earlier after he had grown increasingly frustrated with the president's policies and requests.