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Rep. John Ratcliffe To Replace Dan Coats As US Intelligence Chief


US intelligence chief Dan Coats has become the latest high-profile official in the Trump administration to quit. Coats' departure and his replacement were announced by President Donald Trump on Sunday.

"I am pleased to announce that highly respected Congressman John Ratcliffe of Texas will be nominated by me to be the Director of National Intelligence," he said on Twitter.

"A former U.S. Attorney, John will lead and inspire greatness for the Country he loves," according to Trump.

Trump added that Dan Coats will be leaving office on August 15. Thanking Coats for his "great service" to the country, Trump informed that the Acting Director of National Intelligence will be named shortly.

Known as loyal to Trump, Rep. Rutcliffe is also a critic of former FBI chief James Comey and special counsel Robert Mueller, whose reports on Russian involvement in US elections had put the president under pressure.

Ever since assuming the country's top intelligence post in March 2017, Coats has been at odds with Trump, especially on Russia and North Korea.

Despite being an official who had 17 US intelligence agencies under his supervision, Coats' assessments were often contradicted by the president, and he was not informed of important intelligence matters, media reports say.

As against Trump's claim that the Islamic state has been nearly annihilated in the fight led by US forces, Coats said in his annual "Worldwide Threat Assessment" report that the dreaded terrorist outfit still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria, and that it maintains "eight branches, more than a dozen networks, and thousands of dispersed supporters around the world, despite significant leadership and territorial losses".

In his resignation letter, the former Republican senator and diplomat claimed that the US intelligence community had become "stronger than ever" during his term as Director of National Intelligence.

"As a result, I now believe it is time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life," he added.

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