Former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats appointed by Trump as Director of National Intelligence, per AP’s sources

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Sen. Coats discusses Ukraine situation, U.S. response

Sen. Dan Coats

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump will appoint former Indiana Senator Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence.

The pick could be announced later this week, according to a person briefed Thursday on the decision. The person was but not authorized to speak publicly about the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Coats is a conservative who spent 16 years in the Senate. He announced his retirement last year and did not seek re-election.

Trump’s decision comes as he has been sharply critical of the nation’s intelligence agencies and has cast doubt about their conclusion that Russia was behind hacking to influence last year’s elections.

Trump on Friday will meet with directors of the FBI and CIA, as well as current DNI James Clapper to be briefed on their findings.

Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) praised Trump’s choice and released the following statement:

“Dan Coats is an excellent choice for Director of National Intelligence, there’s no question,” Banks said. “He is respected on both sides of the aisle and has worked on national security issues throughout his career in public service. It is exciting to have another Hoosier in close proximity to the next President.”

Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly issued the following statement:

“Dan has served Indiana and our country with honor and distinction for more than 35 years, including as a Congressman, Senator, and Ambassador. I am encouraged by reports of Dan’s nomination because he is clear-eyed about the intelligence threats we face, including from Vladimir Putin and Russia. I have full faith in Dan’s ability to lead our nation’s intelligence community and to provide critical counsel to the next Commander in Chief.”

Indiana Governor-elect Eric Holcomb issued the following statement:

“Dan Coats is a personal friend and mentor. He is a trusted leader who will serve our nation well as our director of national intelligence. He has the ideal temperament and experience for the job, and his depth of knowledge on foreign policy is second to none. His appointment sends a strong message that an experienced statesman is in charge of this key area.”