If he is confirmed by the Senate, Coats would face a daunting task as the bridge between Trump and the intelligence community.
President-elect Donald Trump plans to pick former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats to head the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, overseeing 17 intelligence agencies, according to a transition official.
If he is confirmed by the Senate, Coats would face a daunting task as the bridge between Trump and the intelligence community. Trump has begun openly feuding with intelligence agencies over their conclusion that Russia hacked into Democratic computers to influence the election.
Coats recently concluded a term in the Senate, after also serving there from 1989 through 1999. He has also served as the U.S. ambassador to Germany.
Three U.S. spy chiefs testified publicly for the first time Thursday that the Kremlin’s most senior leaders approved a Russian intelligence operation aimed at interfering in the U.S. presidential race, a conclusion that President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly challenged.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Adm. Michael Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, and Marcel J. Lettre, undersecretary of Defense for intelligence, answered questions at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Russian theft and leaks of thousands of emails before the November election.
“We assess that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized the recent election-focused data thefts and disclosures, based on the scope and sensitivity of the targets,” Clapper, Rogers and Lettre wrote in joint remarks submitted for the hearing.
President Obama urged congressional Democrats on Wednesday to fight hard to defend the Affordable Care Act, but acknowledged he will no longer lead the charge on touting his signature legislative accomplishment.
Obama met with lawmakers for more than an hour in a closed-door meeting at the Capitol, his last until he returns in two weeks with President-elect Donald Trump to hand over power. Obama took responsibility for Obamacare's proving often to be a political liability. But with Republicans set to assume control of both the White House and Congress, he urged Democrats to stress the consequences of undoing the law without a replacement.
“That the country is clamoring to undo this thing is simply untrue,” Obama told Democrats, according to an aide who requested anonymity to share the private discussion. “There are real lives at stake.”
Vice President-elect Mike Pence was long on political strategy but short on policy specifics Wednesday as Republicans met behind closed doors to discuss unraveling Obamacare.
Pence visited Capitol Hill to tell fellow Republicans that President-elect Donald Trump plans to use the bully pulpit -- rallying the American public - to repeal the Affordable Care Act and will push Democrats to work with Republicans on a replacement.
"I'm promising you, you will not be doing it alone," Pence told House Republicans, according to someone in the closed-door meeting. "We'll be making the case all around the country."
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) received a surprise endorsement Wednesday of his selection as the next attorney general — from the son of civil rights advocates prosecuted by Sessions three decades ago on voter fraud charges.
“I am not saying I am agreeing with all the positions Jeff Sessions has taken,” Albert Turner Jr. said in an interview. “But I think he is qualified to be attorney general. Based on his record there is some things we should look at, but I don’t think they are disqualifying.”
Turner’s endorsement comes as Democrats, civil rights advocates and liberal groups are mobilizing to fight Sessions’ pending nomination by President-elect Donald Trump.
Republicans have promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act pretty much since the law’s enactment in 2010.
Is Donald Trump going wobbly on repealing Obamacare, one of his signature campaign pledges? A series of vague statements Wednesday that Republicans "must be careful" and that the law will "fall of its own weight" suggested that he might be having second thoughts.
Backtracking on that pledge, not only one of his biggest promises but also one of the biggest for the new Republican Congress, would be a significant flip-flop. But figuring out a replacement for the law, without losing its most popular attributes, is proving exceedingly difficult for Republicans.
It's unclear what, exactly, Trump is recommending. But his tweets suggest the belief that by doing nothing, Republicans could absolve themselves of political responsibility for high health costs. He did not say if or how he would he would help alleviate health costs for millions of Americans.
Republicans must be careful in that the Dems own the failed ObamaCare disaster, with its poor coverage and massive premium increases......