President Trump says that he is considering four individuals to serve as his next director of national intelligence (DNI) and that a decision would be made “within the next few weeks.”
“Four great candidates are under consideration at DNI,” Trump tweeted Friday morning. “Decision within next few weeks!”
The president did not name any individuals under consideration. He had told reporters Thursday evening aboard Air Force One that he was considering Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) as a candidate, but the congressman, who is running for Senate in Georgia, told the Fox Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria” on Friday that he was not interested and would not accept the position.
Trump announced Wednesday that U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, one of his staunchest defenders, would serve as his top intelligence chief in an acting capacity. Grenell took over for Joseph Maguire, who had served as acting director of national intelligence since last August.
Grenell is not among the candidates Trump is considering to fill the role permanently but is involved in the process of selecting the nominee.
The position has been without a Senate-confirmed occupant since Dan Coats resigned from the role last summer after clashing with Trump on a number of fronts.
Trump initially said last July he planned to nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), a member of the House Intelligence Committee and one of the president’s allies in Congress, for the position after announcing Coats’s planned resignation. However, Ratcliffe withdrew from consideration days later amid scrutiny of his résumé and questions about whether he had exaggerated it.