President-elect Donald Trump has nominated former Indiana Senator Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence (DNI).
If confirmed by the Senate, Coats will become Trump’s principal adviser on matters of intelligence and security. He will also oversee the National Intelligence Program, the budget for all intelligence agencies totaling about $53.5 Billion for 2017.
“Dan has clearly demonstrated the deep subject matter expertise and sound judgment required to lead our intelligence community,” said Trump.
Coats served in the senate from 1989 to 1999 and again from 2011 to 2017. He was a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Armed Services Committee. From 2001 to 2005, he served as the US Ambassador to Germany.
Coats has a reputation for being “anti-Russian,” a fact that makes him stand out as an odd choice for Trump.
Trump has denied intelligence officials’ assessments that Russia was involved in the election hacks and has pushed for better relations with Moscow.
Coats was actually banned from Russia after pushing for more sanctions as punishment for Putin’s invasion of Crimea.
“While I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to go on vacation with my family in Siberia this summer, I am honored to be on this list,” said Coats in response to his banishment.
Editor’s note: I’m not sure and anti-Russian is a bad choice here. Trump has a way of cultivating opposing sides to get the best results.