Dan Coats will wade into the middle of a fight when he goes before his former colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday for a confirmation hearing to serve as director of national intelligence. And it will have little to do with the former senator’s qualifications for the job.
Coats, 73, will face tough questioning because President Donald Trump has nominated him to supervise the nation’s 17 intelligence agencies -- from the CIA and FBI to the National Security Agency and the military’s intelligence operations -- while they’re mired in explosive investigations touching on Russian hacking and Trump.
“Coats is definitely walking into a very tough job,” David Gordon, a former acting chairman of the National Intelligence Council who was director of policy planning under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said in an interview. “He’s walking into this environment of polarization between the intelligence community and the White House and the president himself.”
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