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Trump again considering dismissing intelligence chief Dan Coats: report

The Hill logo The Hill 7/12/2019 Rachel Frazin
Dan Coats wearing glasses: Trump again considering dismissing intelligence chief Dan Coats: report © Greg Nash Trump again considering dismissing intelligence chief Dan Coats: report

President Trump is reportedly considering the dismissal of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

A senior White House official told CNN that there is some discussion about a possible Coats departure.

It is unclear, however, whether Trump would actually act as a result of these discussions, according to the network, which has previously reported that Trump considered replacing Coats.

Axios first reported that President Trump told confidants he was thinking about replacing Coats, citing five sources.

Two sources told CNN that Fred Fleitz, the former chief of staff to national security adviser John Bolton, has been floated as a possible replacement to Coats. A source familiar told CNN that Bolton is boosting Fleitz.

Coats dismissed the reports in a statement, telling The Hill the "rumors" are "frustrating."

"I am focused on doing my job, and it is frustrating to repeatedly be asked to respond to anonymous sources and unsubstantiated, often false rumors that undercut the critical work of the Intelligence Community and its relationship with the President," he said.

"I am proud to lead an IC singularly focused on the vital mission of providing timely and unbiased intelligence to President Trump, Vice President Pence and the national security team in support of our nation's security."

It was rumored earlier this year that Coats would be ousted from the administration.

And in March, NBC reported that Vice President Pence had to convince Coats not to leave his post months earlier after he had grown increasingly frustrated with the president's policies and requests.

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