Trump hopeful nominee can 'rein in' intelligence agencies

Trump hopeful nominee can 'rein in' intelligence agencies
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President 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 on Tuesday expressed hope that his nominee to be the next director of national intelligence (DNI) could "rein in" U.S. agencies that have "run amok."

Trump praised Rep. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeGOP lawmakers jockey for positions as managers Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay Trump, first lady take part in National Christmas Tree lighting MORE as "brilliant" and "wonderful," telling reporters at the White House that the Texas Republican would bring order to the intelligence agencies.

"I think we need somebody like that there," Trump said. "We need somebody strong that can really rein it in because, as I think you’ve all learned, the intelligence agencies have run amok."

Trump regularly complains that the FBI and Department of Justice were biased against him leading up to the 2016 election.

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The president announced Sunday that he would nominate Ratcliffe, who is viewed as a Trump ally, to replace 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, who will depart his role as director of national intelligence in the middle of August.

Ratcliffe was heavily involved in GOP efforts to investigate the FBI’s actions in the early stages of the Russia investigation, a subject he raised with former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay Trump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts MORE during Mueller's testimony last week.

Some Senate Democrats have expressed reservations about Ratcliffe's nomination, saying the DNI should not be a partisan appointee.

Trump on Tuesday also downplayed any rift with Coats.

"I like Dan, he’s a friend of mine. I think he’s a terrific person. I like him a lot," Trump said.

"And there really wasn’t conflict. I think it was confusion more than conflict," the president added. "Dan made statements and they were a little confused. But that wasn’t conflict."

Coats notably broke with the president on a few occasions during his tenure as the top intelligence official.

He undercut the president's public optimism about denuclearization talks with North Korea during a Senate hearing in which he cast doubt on the odds of the nation giving up its arsenal.

And he responded awkwardly to news that the White House had invited Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinSenate confirms Trump's Russia ambassador Trump is right to shake up NATO Budowsky: Would John McCain back impeachment? MORE to the White House, an incident that is said to have frustrated Trump.