On July 28, 2019, word leaked out to Axios, and President Trump confirmed on Twitter, that he will replace current director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats with Texas Republican representative John Ratcliffe, effective August 15, 2019.
During his two-year tenure, Coats several times appeared to be out of sync with the president, reflecting some broader disagreements between Trump and the government’s intelligence agencies. In January 2019, Trump exchanged some verbal blows with Coats and Gina Haspel, the CIA director, after they testified about a threat assessment report that called into question some of the president’s foreign policy judgments regarding Iran. “Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!” tweeted the president.
Coats appears to be one of the last of the Republican establishment Mohicans appointed by the president in his first two years in office. As we all know, Trump disposed of most of them, one by one: Reince Priebus (chief of staff, in 2017), Jeff Sessions (attorney general, in 2018), Nikki Haley (ambassador to the United Nations, in 2018), and Kirstjen Nielsen (secretary of homeland security, in 2019), to name just a few.
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