Sep
09
DNI Dan Coats to step down, Texas Republican John Ratcliffe to replace


OFFICIAL. ERIC: WELL, NOW BACK TO ONE OF OUR TOP STORIES ON THIS SUNDAY, DAN COATS EXPECTED TO STEP DOWN AS DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. THAT IN THE COMING DAYS. YOU KNOW, REPORTS HAVE LONG SAID THAT AT TIMES HE HAS BEEN AT ODDS WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP OVER ISSUES SUCH AS RUSSIA AND THE PRESIDENT’S ATTACKS ON THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY OF OUR COUNTRY. MR. COATS EXPECTED TO BE REPLACED BY TEXAS REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN JOHN RATCLIFFE WHO IS A STAUNCH SUPPORTER OF THE PRESIDENT. JEFF MASON IS HERE, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER FOR REUTERS. JEFF, WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS DEVELOPMENT MEANS?>>Reporter: WELL, IT MEANS A FEW DIFFERENT THINGS, ERIC. I MEAN, NUMBER ONE, IT’S THE LATEST IN THE CLOSE CABINET OFFICIALS WHO HAVE LEFT PRESIDENT TRUMP’S ADMINISTRATION. I THINK IT’S KIND OF INTERESTING THAT DAN COATS HAS LASTED AS LONG AS HE HAS. THERE HAS CERTAINLY BEEN TENSIONS BETWEEN HIM AND THE PRESIDENT FOR SOME TIME, DATING BACK AT LEAST AS FAR AS A YEAR AGO WHEN THE TWO MEN WERE GIVING SORT OF DIFFERENT VIEWS ABOUT THE THREAT OF RUSSIA AND RUSSIA’S INVOLVEMENT IN THE 2016 ELECTION — ERIC: WAS IT SEEN THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS DOWNPLAYING THAT AND COATS, YOU KNOW, STAUNCHLY PUSHED BACK –>>YEAH. ERIC: IN TERMS OF ACTION ON THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY?>>THAT’S SPOT ON, YES. DAN COATS WAS DEFENDING THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AND ALSO MAKING VERY CLEAR THAT THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY’S INTEL ON THE FACT THAT RUSSIA HAD, IN FACT, INTERVENED IN THE 2016 ELECTION WAS ACCURATE. AND THE PRESIDENT, OF COURSE, CAST DOUBT ON THAT FOR SOME TIME, AND THAT’S SOMETHING THAT THIS CABINET OFFICIAL STOOD UP AGAINST. I ALSO REMEMBER THERE BEING A PARTICULARLY REMARKABLE MOMENT WHERE DAN COATS WAS ASKED, I BELIEVE BY ANDREA MITCHELL OF NBC, ABOUT THE PRESIDENT’S REMARK AT THE TIME THAT HE MIGHT INVITE PRESIDENT PUTIN TO COME VISIT THE WHITE HOUSE, AND DAN COATS WAS NOT AWARE OF THAT AND SAID SOMETHING ALONG THE LINES OF, WELL, THAT WOULD BE SPECIAL. THAT WAS AN UNGUARDED MOMENT, DAN COATS HAS SINCE KEPT A LOWER PROFILE, BUT THAT DIDN’T GO OVER WELL IN THE WHITE HOUSE. ERIC: YEAH. I REMEMBER THAT, HE WAS CAUGHT OFF GUARD ON THAT. COATS HAD BEEN A RESPECTED SENATOR FROM INDIANA, AMBASSADOR TO GERMANY. CRITICS ARE GOING TO SAY THIS IS THE PRESIDENT TRYING TO MOLD INTELLIGENCE, MAYBE GOING SOFTER ON RUSSIA, WELLS ENCOURAGING ATTACKS — AS WELL AS ENCOURAGING ATTACKS ON THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AND HAVING RATCLIFFE MAYBE DOING HIS BIDDING OVER AT DEFENSE. WHAT DO YOU DO YOU THINK ABOUT T WHAT DO YOU DO YOU THINK ABOUT A WHAT DO YOU DO YOU THINK ABOUT ?>>WELL, RATCLIFFA HAS CERTAINLY SHOWN HE WILL STAND UP FOR TRUMP’S WORLD VIEW. IT’S ALSO SORT OF REMARKABLE OR INTERESTING, WORTH NOTING IN ANY CASE THAT WITH COATS’ EXPECTED DEPARTURE, MOST OF THE SORT OF REPUBLICAN ESTABLISHMENT MEMBERS OF TRUMP’S CABINET ARE NOW GONE; JIM MATTIS, OF COURSE, FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, LEFT, NIKKI HALEY, THE FORMER UTAH AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS IS — U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS IS GONE WITH DON’TS APPARENTLY ON — WITH COATS ON HIS WAY OUT, AND WE’RE REPORTING THAT AS WELL, THAT’S ONE LESS LINK TO MORE TRADITIONAL REPUBLICAN WORLD VIEW, AND MORE PEOPLE AROUND THE PRESIDENT WHO ARE BASICALLY ALIGNED WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP. ERIC: YEAH. IRONICALLY, MR. RATCLIFFE WAS ON “SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES” THIS MORNING WITH MARIA BARTIROMO, AND I WANT TO SAY IN HIS DEFENSE THAT HE DOES HAVE NATIONAL SECURITY EXPERIENCE. HE WAS THE CHIEF OF ANTI-TERRORISM AT THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS, AND HE WAS THE ACTING U.S. ATTORNEY THERE IN THE DOJ. AND HE HAD, HE WAS PRETTY TOUGH ON ROBERT MUELLER DURING THE QUESTIONING, SUPPORTING PRESIDENT TRUMP.>>HE WAS. ERIC: LET’S PLAY A LITTLE BIT OF THE SOUND BITE FROM THIS MORNING’S INTERVIEW WITH MARIA IN WHICH HE DID NOT GIVE ANY INDICATION THAT HE MAY HAVE A JOB IN THE OFFING, BUT THIS IS WHAT HE SAID.>>WHAT I DO KNOW AS A FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR IS IT DOES APPEAR THERE WERE CRIMES COMMITTED DURING THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. YOU TALKED THE EARLIER ABOUT MICHAEL FLYNN. HIS PHONE CALL WITH THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR WAS A HIGHLY CLASSIFIED NSA INTERCEPT. SOMEONE IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION LEAKED THAT CALL TO TO THE WASHINGTON POST. THAT’S A FELONY. GLENN SIMPSON, FROM FUSION GPS, IN TALKING ABOUT THE STEELES DOSSIER SAID HE AND BRUCE OTHER DID NOT MEET UNTIL AFTER THE ELECTION. BRUCE OTHER SAID UNDER OATH THEY MET THREE MONTHS BEFORE THE ELECTION. ONE OF THEM IS NOT TELLING THE TRUTH. ERIC: NOW BREAKING NEWS, WE HAVE IT FROM THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF IN HIS TWITTER, LET ME READ IT, QUOTE: I AM PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT HIGHLY RESPECTED CONGRESSMAN JOHN RATCLIFFE WILL BE NOMINATED BY ME TO BE THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE, A FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY JOHN WILL LEAD AND INSPIRE GREATNESS FOR THE COUNTRY HE LOVES. DAN COATS, THE CURRENT DIRECTOR, WILL — THEN WE HAVE TO GET TO NEXT TWEET –>>WE TO WE HAVE TO WAIT — [LAUGHTER] SO YOUR THOUGHTS.>>WELL, SO THAT CONFIRMS, OBVIOUSLY, WHAT MANY OF US HAVE BEEN REPORTING ABOUT THIS MOVE. IT ALSO, I HAVE TO CHUCKLE, I MEAN, IT’S — I THINK THE PRESIDENT DOESN’T LIKE TO BE SCOOPED NECESSARILY ON HIS OWN PERSONNEL MOVES. AND SO THE FACT THAT THESE REPORTS WERE COMING OUT, CLEARLY, HE WANTS TO BE SURE TO BE THE ONE TO CONFIRM THAT. SO IT’S CONFIRMED. IT DOES SORT OF PUT TO REST A LONG QUESTION MARK OVER DAN COATS’ TENURE. AS WE WERE SAYING EARLIER, HE HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN SOMEBODY WHO THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN ESPECIALLY FOND OF IN TERMS OF HOW THE TWO OF THEM DIFFER WITH REGARD TO ISSUES WE WERE TALKING ABOUT EARLIER, ESPECIALLY ON RUSSIA, BUT ALSO OTHER AREAS OF INTELLIGENCE INCLUDING IRAN AND NORTH KOREA. SO THE PRESIDENT NOW BRINGING IN MUCH MORE OF A LOYALIST. WE’LL SEE IF MAYBE THAT FOLLOW-UP TWEET THE MAKES CLEAR WHEN EXACTLY THE — ERIC: YEAH, WE HAVE IT RIGHT HERE NOW. HE SAYS MR. COATS WILL BE LEAVING ON AUGUST 15TH. SO HE STILL HAS SOME TIME. HE SAID I WOULD LIKE TO THANK DAN FOR HIS GREAT SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY. THE ACTING DIRECTOR WILL BE NAMED SHORTLY, SO THEY’LL HAVE AN ACTING DIRECTOR BEFORE RATCLIFFE MOVES OVER. HE’S ALSO ONE OF THE MOST CONSERVATIVE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, ESPECIALLY FROM TEXAS. SO DO YOU THINK EVEN DESPITE SOME MAYBE DIFFERENCES IN POLICY THAT HE POTENTIALLY COULD HAVE WITH COATS, THERE WON’T BE THAT MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE, THAT HE WILL BE TOUGH ON THE THREATS THAT THIS COUNTRY FACE AND OUR ADVERSARIES IN THIS — DO YOU HAVE CONFIDENCE AND DO YOU THINK WASHINGTON WILL HAVE CONFIDENCE IN RATCLIFFE AS THE NEW DIRECTOR OF THE DNI?>>WELL, I MEAN, I CAN’T SAY WHETHER I HAVE CONFIDENCE, ERIC, BUT I THINK THAT WHETHER WASHINGTON HAS CONFIDENCE WILL BE THE SUBJECT OF THE HEARINGS THAT COME UP FOR WHEN HE GOES BEFORE CONGRESS FOR CONFIRMATION, AND THAT THAT’S THE REASON, NO DOUBT, THE PRESIDENT WILL HAVE AN ACTING DNI IN IN THE MEANTIME. BECAUSE HE MAY FACE SOME TOUGH QUESTIONING, AND HE MAY HAVE A TOUGH THE TIME GETTING CONFIRMED IF THERE ARE, YOU KNOW, IF SOME PEOPLE IN THE SENATE ARE NOT CONVINCED THAT HE WOULD BE STRONG ENOUGH IN THIS AREA. THAT SAID, IT’S THE PRESIDENT’S PREROGATIVE TO CHOOSE THE PEOPLE THAT HE WANT ADVISING HIM. AND FOR THE MOST PART, I THINK WE’VE SEEN CERTAINLY OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS THAT REPUBLICANS IN MOST CASES ON THE HILL ARE HAPPY TO SUPPORT THEIR PRESIDENT ON THINGS LIKE THIS. ERIC: JEFF MASON, ALWAYS INSIGHTFUL. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US THIS