Trump Picks Former Indiana Senator Coats As Intelligence Chief

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name former GOP Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana as director of national intelligence, reported the New York Times Thursday.

Coats will be the first career politician to enter the director of national intelligence position since it was created in 2005. The 73-year-old served two stints as a senator for a total of 15 years. Before that, he served as a representative for eight years. Coats also served as U.S. ambassador to Germany and worked as a lobbyist between his stints as a senator.

Coats could face an uphill battle both internally and externally almost immediately. The director of national intelligence position requires confirmation by the senate, which may prove problematic given Coats’ lack of intelligence experience.

Additionally, Trump has noted on several occasions his distrust of the U.S. intelligence community, specifically regarding allegations that Russia interfered in the U.S. election to help him win the White House.

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