Collins: Trump pick doesn’t have experience to serve as director of national intelligence
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), one of the authors of the law that created the position of director of national intelligence (DNI) in 2004, said Monday that President Trump’s pick to serve temporarily in the post, Richard Grenell, doesn’t have the necessary experience for the job.
Collins, a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said she would have preferred that Trump had appointed Joseph Maguire, who until Friday had served as acting DNI, for the nation’s top intelligence post.
“I would have much preferred that the president nominate the acting director Maguire for the post,” Collins, who is up for reelection this year, said.
“As one of the four authors of the law that created the DNI back in 2004, I care deeply about that position and believe the person needs experience in the intelligence community, which regrettably Ambassador Grenell does not have,” Collins added.
Grenell, who until last week served as U.S. ambassador to Germany, does not have the same experience working with the intelligence community as some of his predecessors.
Maguire, who resigned on Friday, is a former Navy SEAL and a retired three-star admiral who led the Naval Special Warfare Command, a role that put him in charge of targeting and eliminating national security threats.
CNN reported last week that Trump became irate with Maguire after he allowed lawmakers to be briefed on the intelligence community’s belief that Russia is attempting to interfere in the 2020 election to help Trump win a second term.
Grenell is a staunch Trump supporter who sparked controversy during his time as the senior American diplomat in Germany. He criticized Germany’s immigration and refugee policies and proclaimed that he wanted to empower conservative politicians throughout Europe.
One of his first moves as acting DNI was to hire Kashyap Patel, a former senior aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), for a senior position. CBS News reported that Patel’s job will be to purge intelligence officials seen as insufficiently loyal to Trump.