Administration

Trump hopeful nominee can ‘rein in’ intelligence agencies

President Trump 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 Ratcliffe 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.

{mosads}The president announced Sunday that he would nominate Ratcliffe, who is viewed as a Trump ally, to replace Dan Coats, 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 Mueller 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 Putin to the White House, an incident that is said to have frustrated Trump. 

Tags Dan Coats Director of National Intelligence Donald Trump John Ratcliffe Robert Mueller Vladimir Putin

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