Trump Names an Acting Spy Chief as No. 2 Intelligence Official Steps Down – The New York Times

The sudden shuffle in the highest ranks of the intelligence community added to the turmoil since Mr. Trump announced on Twitter on July 28 that Mr. Coats would leave and that Representative John Ratcliffe, a Texas Republican who is an outspoken supporter of the president, would be his nominee for the next director.

But last Friday, Mr. Trump dropped his plan to nominate Mr. Ratcliffe after it came to light that he had exaggerated his counterterrorism experience as a former federal prosecutor, and as concerns mounted among lawmakers of both parties that he lacked qualifications for the job.

In his initial Twitter announcement, Mr. Trump suggested that Ms. Gordon might not become the acting director until a new one was confirmed, notwithstanding the succession statute. The New York Times reported last Friday that the White House had decided not to let Ms. Gordon become the director, although she had not yet been formally informed of that choice, and that the administration had requested a list of other senior agency officials, a suggestion that it was searching for a different successor.

The signs of turmoil prompted lawmakers of both parties, including those leading the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senators Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina, and Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, to issue strong expressions of support.

Mr. Burr called her departure “a significant loss” for the intelligence community.

“In more than three decades of public service, Sue earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues with her patriotism and vision,” he said in a statement on Thursday. “She has been a stalwart partner to the Senate Intelligence Committee, and I will miss her candor and deep knowledge of the issues. I look forward to seeing what new challenges she will tackle next.”

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