US president Donald Trump announced on Thursday that the deputy director of US national intelligence, Sue Gordon, is resigning her position, leaving a vacuum at the agency that oversees civilian and military intelligence.
The current director of the agency, Dan Coats, announced last month he would step down on August 15th. Last week, Mr Trump said he might name Ms Gordon as the acting DNI, which oversees 17 US civilian and military intelligence agencies including the CIA.
“Sue has announced she will be leaving on August 15th, which coincides with the retirement of Dan Coats,” Mr Trump said on Twitter.
“A new acting director of National Intelligence will be named shortly,” Mr Trump said.
Last week, Mr Trump dropped his first choice to replace Mr Coats, US Representative John Ratcliffe, after questions arose about the Republican congressman’s lack of experience and possible exaggerations in his CV.
It is not clear what prompted the resignation of Ms Gordon, a career intelligence official who had the backing of current and former officials because of her deep experience.
Mr Trump had a strained relationship with Mr Coats, who endorsed the US intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election with the objective of promoting Mr Trump over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
Mr Trump also has objected to US intelligence community analyses of major issues – from Iran’s nuclear programme to North Korea – that have clashed with his own assessments.
Under the law, Mr Trump must name a new acting director from the senior staff of the agency, known as the ODNI. His choice for the permanent job must be confirmed by the Senate. – Reuters