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Schiff: Intelligence officials' retirements a 'devastating loss'

The Hill logo The Hill 8/9/2019 Rachel Frazin
Adam Schiff wearing a suit and tie: Schiff: Intelligence officials' retirements a 'devastating loss' © Greg Nash Schiff: Intelligence officials' retirements a 'devastating loss'

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) released a statement Thursday calling the retirements of two top intelligence officials a "devastating loss."

Schiff's statement follows the resignation announcements of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats last month and Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon Tuesday.

"The retirements of Dan Coats and Sue Gordon represent a devastating loss to the Intelligence Community, and the men and women who serve in it," Schiff said. "Gordon brought decades of experience and encyclopedic knowledge of the agencies to bear, and her absence will leave a great void."

"These losses of leadership, coupled with a president determined to weed out anyone who may dare disagree, represent one of the most challenging moments for the Intelligence Community," he added. "It will be up to the Congress to ensure that the Intelligence Community continues to provide independent analysis and judgement to policy makers, and always speak truth to power."

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Vice Chair Mark Warner (D-Va.) also called Gordon's departure a "real loss to our intelligence community."

"In more than 30 years of service to our nation, Sue Gordon ​has demonstrated herself to be a patriot and a consummate professional, eventually becoming the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and someone who garnered tremendous respect from both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill​," Warner said in a statement.

Warner also accused President Trump of pushing out Gordon and Coats.

"In pushing out two dedicated public servants in as many weeks, once again the President has shown that he has no problem prioritizing his political ego even if it comes at the expense of our national security," he said.

​Trump on Thursday announced that Gordon would retire and later added that current Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Joseph Maguire will become the acting director of national intelligence.

Both retirements and Maguire's ascension will take place Aug. 15.

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