SPONSORED:

Trump considering Doug Collins as nominee for director of national intelligence

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE on Thursday said he is considering Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsTrump campaigns as wild card in Georgia runoffs McCarthy woos Freedom Caucus with eye on Speakership Georgia's Perdue, Kemp to appear with Fox News's Laura Ingraham MORE (R-Ga.) to serve as director of national intelligence.

Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One while traveling to Nevada from a Colorado campaign rally that Collins is among the candidates in the running to be nominated to fill the position that has not had a permanent occupant since Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsSenate Intelligence Committee leaders warn of Chinese threats to national security New federal cybersecurity lead says 'rumor control' site will remain up through January Biden soars as leader of the free world MORE resigned last August.

Trump was joined in the press cabin by Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White.

ADVERTISEMENT

The president on Wednesday named U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell as the acting intelligence chief, replacing Joseph MaguireJoseph MaguireRetired Navy admiral behind bin Laden raid says he voted for Biden Congressional Democrats request FBI briefing on foreign election interference efforts Wells Fargo told employees to delete TikTok from work phones MORE, who also served in an acting capacity since Coats's departure. The director oversees the nation's intelligence agencies.

Trump's eventual nominee to serve as director of national intelligence would require Senate confirmation. 

Collins has emerged as one of the president's staunchest allies in the House. As the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, Collins defended Trump throughout the impeachment trial and was among the lawmakers who served as a messaging apparatus for his defense team during the Senate trial.

The congressman has launched a Senate campaign to run against Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerLoeffler campaign staffer dies in car crash Trump campaigns as wild card in Georgia runoffs Graham reports 'record-breaking' 9M haul during 2020 campaign MORE (R-Ga.) in what has already become a bitter intraparty fight. Should Trump pick Collins to serve as director of national intelligence, he would likely abandon his Senate bid to serve in the president's cabinet.

Collins previously worked as a lawyer and served in the military prior to running for public office.

ADVERTISEMENT

His nomination would likely draw scrutiny from Democrats who have raised concerns about politicizing the intelligence agency and staffing it with loyalists rather than career professionals.

Trump has had a fraught relationship with the intelligence community throughout his time in office. He has repeatedly alleged that he was illegally spied on during his 2016 campaign, he has cast doubt on the intelligence community's determination that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and he often refers to former leaders of the FBI as "dirty cops," including as recently as Thursday.

Trump reportedly soured on Maguire as a potential nominee for the permanent role following a House briefing from a senior intelligence official who warned that Russia may try to meddle in the 2020 election to help the incumbent.