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McConnell Statement on Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats | Republican Leader

07.28.19

‘In particular, I want to thank Director Coats for his role in the Administration’s comprehensive response to Russia’s ongoing efforts to interfere in our democracy. The intelligence community’s great leaps since 2016 laid the groundwork for the administration’s significant progress in defending against interference in 2018 and preparing us for 2020.’

LOUSVILLE, KY – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued the following statement regarding Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats:

“I was very sorry to learn today that Director Coats will depart his position as Director of National Intelligence later this month. My friend and former colleague has devoted decades of his life in service to our country. I was reassured knowing that a man who took such a deliberate, thoughtful, and unbiased approach was at the helm of our intelligence community. 

“This was especially true during a time of growing international tension. Under Director Coats’ leadership, our agencies have gotten a better handle on the malign behavior of Russia, China, and other adversaries such as Iran and North Korea. Director Coats pushed for greater coordination in how the community approaches some of its hardest, most sensitive collection targets. 

“In particular, I want to thank Director Coats for his role in the Administration’s comprehensive response to Russia’s ongoing efforts to interfere in our democracy. The intelligence community’s great leaps since 2016 laid the groundwork for the administration’s significant progress in defending against interference in 2018 and preparing us for 2020.

“Our understanding of the threat and our coordinated defenses are lightyears ahead of where we were in 2016. That is thanks to the hard work of Director Coats and countless intelligence professionals. By definition and for good reason, much of what they do must remain classified. But as all of my Senate colleagues and I saw firsthand in a classified briefing just a few weeks ago, our nation owes them a debt of gratitude for their significant and ongoing work since 2016 to keep our democracy safe.

“The U.S. intelligence community works best when it is led by professionals who protect its work from political or analytical bias and who deliver unvarnished hard truths to political leaders in both the executive and legislative branches. Very often the news these briefings bring is unpleasant, but it is essential that we be confronted with the facts. Dan Coats was such a leader.”

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