Trump's Ukraine call sparks new questions over intelligence chief's firing

The president removed Dan Coats days after his conversation with Zelenskiy and insisted that Coats’s deputy not get the jobDan Coats, seen in 2018, reportedly interrupted a meeting to convince his deputy to resign. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty ImagesThree days after his now infamous phone conversation with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Donald Trump abruptly fired his director of national intelligence in favour of an inexperienced political loyalist.According to a New York Times report, the White House learned within days that the unorthodox call on 25 July with Zelenskiy had raised red flags among intelligence professionals and was likely to trigger an official complaint.That timeline has raised new questions over the timing of the Trump’s dismissal by tweet of the director of national intelligence (DNI), Dan Coats, on 28 July and his insistence that the deputy DNI, Sue Gordon, a career intelligence professional, did not step into the role, even in an acting capacity.Instead, Trump tried to install a Republican congressman, John Ratcliffe, who had minimal national security credentials but had been a fierce defender of the president in Congress. Trump had to drop the nomination after it emerged that Ratcliffe had exaggerated his national security credentials in his biography, wrongly claiming he had conducted prosecutions in terrorist financing cases.Despite the collapse of the Ratcliffe nomination, Gordon was forced out. She was reported to have been holding a meeting on election security on 8 August when Coats interrupted to convince her that she would have to resign.In a terse handwritten note to the president, Gordon said: “I offer this letter as an act of respect and patriotism, not preference. You should have your team.”The Office of the DNI (ODNI) and its inspector general has the authority to receive whistleblower complaints from across all US intelligence agencies and determine whether they should be …read more

Source:: Yahoo News

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