WASHINGTON – In the midst of a new mouth over interference in the Russian elections, President Donald Trump plans to appoint a new permanent director for national intelligence agencies – although a top candidate says he doesn’t want the job.
Deputy Doug Collins, R-Ga., A pronounced defender of Trump during impeachment, told Fox Business Network Friday morning with Maria that he didn’t want the job after Trump announced his name for the role on Thursday.
Collins, who runs for the Senate, said the post “is not a job that interests me and I would not accept it.”
Trump expressed his desire to hire a permanent director of national intelligence on Thursday, just a day after he appointed an acting director, German ambassador Richard Grenell.
The new plan also emerged just hours after news that U.S. intelligence officials had warned lawmakers that Russia was planning to interfere in the presidential election again – possibly to help Trump reelect. The position of director of the National Intelligence Service has been without a permanent representative approved by the Senate for six months.
This briefing prompted Trump to reprimand Joseph Maguire, the former incumbent director of national intelligence, who was replaced by Grenell. Two government officials who spoke on personnel matters on condition of anonymity said Trump was crazy because he didn’t know that Maguire’s staff had informed Congress about Russia’s new conspiracy. They also said Trump planned to replace Maguire for a while.
Critics used the hearing to attack Trump and accused the president of suppressing information about Russian efforts to help him politically. You also followed Grenell over for his lack of experience in the intelligence community.
More: After impeachment, Donald Trump put loyalists in top jobs and ousted others
“We count on intelligence agencies to inform Congress of any danger of foreign interference in our elections,” tweeted Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Chair of the House Intelligence Committee. “If reports are true and the President intervenes, he will again jeopardize our efforts to stop foreigners from interfering.”
Schiff, a House attorney during the impeachment, said the president is constantly trying to downplay evidence that Russia wanted to help him win the 2016 election.
Trump said he just wanted a new leadership in U.S. intelligence. The director of the National Intelligence Service is a cabinet-level position that coordinates the activities of the CIA and other U.S. spy agencies.
In a tweet on Thursday, Trump said, “Thank you to our great US ambassador to Germany, @RichardGrenell, who joined as a DNI representative. I’ll be nominating an excellent candidate for the job very soon. Stay tuned!”
Many thanks to our great US ambassador to Germany, @ RichardGrenellto act as a DNI. I will be nominating a great candidate for the job very soon. Stay tuned!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2020
In Georgia, Collins presents incumbent Senator Kelly Loeffler with a major Republican challenge. This is an intra-party struggle that the Republicans would like to avoid, but which seems inevitable given Collins’ apparent refusal to accept the DNI job.
Collins sought Senate seat last year, but the Republican governor of Georgia decided to appoint Loeffler to succeed retired Senator Johnny Isakson.
Collins’ decision to now challenge Loeffler in an area code brought him criticism from party leaders, including members of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
“The short-sightedness of this decision is breathtaking,” said NRSC director Kevin McLaughlin, adding that Collins’ “selfishness” Loeffler and Senator David Perdue, both Republicans, and President Donald Trump, who will also be present on November 3, voting would harm.
This article originally appeared in the U.S. TODAY: Doug Collins rejects Trump’s job as director of national intelligence