Top intelligence official leaving her post

Dan Coats stepping down as intel chief

Top intelligence official Sue Gordon is leaving the Trump administration, President Trump announced in a tweet late Thursday, meaning the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is losing its two top leaders at a critical time for American intelligence operations.

Gordon, the deputy director of national intelligence, had been floated as a possibility to at least temporarily replace outgoing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. Coats’ departure was announced last month. The final day for both officials is Aug. 15.

“Sue Gordon is a great professional with a long and distinguished career,” the president tweeted late Thursday. “I have gotten to know Sue over the past 2 years and have developed great respect for her. Sue has announced she will be leaving on August 15, which…coincides with the retirement of Dan Coats. A new Acting Director of National Intelligence will be named shortly.”

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It’s still unclear who will fill the role of acting director of national intelligence. The president had selected Rep. John Ratcliffe to assume the post, but after publicized criticisms about his lack of experience and critics’ concerns that he might exhibit partisan behavior in the office, Ratcliffe withdrew his name from consideration.

The top ODNI departures come as former special counsel Robert Mueller says Russians are currently meddling in the upcoming elections, and as the nation faces domestic terrorism concerns, among other pressing threats.

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