Intelligence chief Dan Coats stepping down; Trump nominates Rep. John Ratcliffe

President Donald Trump announced Sunday that his director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, is stepping down next month after a rocky two years in which the two differed on several issues, including Russian interference in the 2016 election and policies on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

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“I would like to thank Dan for his great service to our Country,” Trump tweeted in making the announcement about Coats’ departure. “The Acting Director will be named shortly,” he said.

Also, in a tweet, the president announced he’s nominating conservative Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe to replace Coats.

“A former U.S. Attorney, John will lead and inspire greatness for the country he loves,” the president said.

Trump met privately with Ratcliffe on July 19 at the White House about the job, The New York Times reported, citing administration officials.

Ratcliffe, a Trump supporter, intensely questioned Robert Mueller last week during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, grilling the former special counsel on his decision not to exonerate Trump on obstruction of justice charges.

Coats worked with President George W. Bush on his conservative agenda and was an important link between the Trump administration and the Republican establishment, according to the Times. Coats' last day is Aug. 15.

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