2019-07-29 14:51:55 UTC
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats in recent months saw his warnings
about threats posed by Russia watered down by the White House, The New York
Times reported Sunday.
* According to The Times, a dossier by Coats on Russian interference in the 2018
midterms was altered by the White House to contain less critical language.
* Coats' resignation was announced Sunday in a tweet by President Donald Trump,
who wants a loyalist, Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas, to replace him.
* Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats repeatedly found his warnings
about the threat posed by Russia suppressed by the White House, The New York
Times reported Sunday amid his resignation from the post.
According to The Times, Coats has often found himself at odds with President
Donald Trump over Russia, a situation that worsened in recent months.
Coats saw Russia as an adversary to the US, The Times wrote, and pushed for
closer cooperation with European countries to counter it, but the White House
did not agree.
Several times Coats saw his language on the Kremlin's activities watered down by
the White House, according to The Times.
A secret report by Coats on Russia's attempt to interfere in the 2018 midterms
by spreading disinformation was reportedly altered by the White House. A public
statement on Coats' conclusions contained less critical language than the
original, The Times said.
A former senior intelligence official told The Washington Post that Coats felt
marginalized on national security issues by the president and had come to see
his departure as inevitable.
According to reports, Trump had been discussing replacing Coats for months.
Trump has long faced scrutiny for his warm comments on Russia and his changing
positions on whether Russia interfered to help him secure his 2016 election
Robert Mueller concluded in the special counsel's Russia investigation that
there was insufficient evidence to charge the president or his aides with
criminally conspiring with Russia in 2016.
Trump in a tweet Sunday announced that Coats would step down in mid-August and
nominated Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas as his replacement.
In his tweet, he thanked Coats for his service but offered him no praise.
"The intelligence community is stronger than ever and increasingly well prepared
to meet new challenges and opportunities," Coats wrote in his resignation
letter, citing the recent appointment of an official charged with countering
foreign election interference.
During his time as director of national intelligence, Coats had publicly
contradicted Trump on the president's claims regarding Russia and North Korea.
In a statement released after Trump's summit in Helsinki with Russian President
Vladimir Putin in July 2018, Coats rebutted the president's apparent acceptance
of Putin's claim that Russia had not interfered in the 2016 election.