Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was an increasing rarity in the orbit of U.S. President Donald Trump. As the principal intelligence advisor to a president who has repeatedly called into question the assessments of the U.S. intelligence community, Coats maintained his independence and provided sober intelligence analysis on North Korea, Iran, and Syria that sometimes ran counter to the worldview of the president.
Sunday’s announcement, via presidential tweet, that Rep. John Ratcliffe, a Trump-aligned conservative lawmaker with limited intelligence experience, has been tapped to replace Coats when he steps down next month has ignited fears that it could politicize the role of the nation’s top intelligence official and an office that is still finding its feet under Trump.
Experts and former members of the intelligence community fear that Ratcliffe’s appointment could also further undermine U.S. foreign-policy credibility at a time when Washington is seen as making a questionable case against adversaries such as Iran.
Read the full article and more in Foreign Policy.