Trump selects former Sen. Coats for top intelligence post

FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2016 file photo, then-Indiana Sen. Dan Coats on Capitol Hill in Washington. President-elect Donald Trump is planning to appoint former Coats as Director of National Intelligence. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump has selected former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, a person with knowledge of the decision said Thursday.

The move comes amid Trump’s questioning of the U.S. intelligence community’s assessments that Russia interfered with the election on his behalf, and one day before the president-elect is briefed by senior intelligence officials on the Russian hacking allegations.

Coats served as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee before retiring from Congress last year. He also served as U.S. ambassador to Germany.

As director of national intelligence, Coats would oversee an agency created after 9/11 to improve coordination of U.S. spy and law enforcement agencies. The person with knowledge of Trump’s decision was not authorized to discuss the pick publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Trump has been considering ways to restructure intelligence agencies to streamline operations and improve efficiency. Transition officials have been looking at changes at both ODNI and the CIA, but those plans are said not to be aimed at gutting the intelligence agencies or hampering their capabilities.

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