Senate confirms former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence

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Sen. Dan Coats

WASHINGTON – Former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats was confirmed as the Director of National Intelligence on Wednesday afternoon.

The intelligence position was created in 2004, fallout from the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and has become critical in helping prevent another terror attack.

Coats replaces James Clapper, who retired at the end of the Obama administration.

Historically, the director of national intelligence has had a close ear to the president. Questions though have arisen as to the director’s exact role in President Donald Trump’s administration but reports indicate newly-appointed national security adviser H.R. McMaster would like to keep it as is.

Coats will oversee 16 other intelligence agencies, and he will also be a key player in the government’s ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential campaign.

He received high praise from both Indiana Democrats and Republicans after he testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during his official nomination hearing.

Sen. Joe Donnelly released the following statement after voting to confirm Coats:

“Dan has stepped up to lead our intelligence community at a critical time. He is eminently qualified for this new role, and I trust he will remain clear-eyed about the threats facing our nation, including Russian attempts to undermine our democracy. I know that Dan will provide his best advice to the president and give our intelligence professionals the leadership they need and deserve.”

Rep. Susan Brooks issued this statement:

“Senator Coats has served the United States with great distinction. As the leader of our Intelligence Community, his experience and sound judgment will help ensure the safety and security of our country. Senator Coats is a true public servant who has answered every call to serve his fellow citizens to the best of his ability.  He puts his country first and, with his background in the military, as Ambassador, and as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is more than qualified for this job. I’m proud that he will continue his dedicated service as Director of National Intelligence to President Trump.”

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb issued this statement:

“Today, I was thrilled to see my friend and mentor Dan Coats confirmed as Director of National Intelligence. He is uniquely qualified and brings a wealth of experience, incredible wit and a strong dose of Hoosier common sense. Our nation will be well served, again, by his leadership.”

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