President Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Thursday night that he is considering nominating Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) as director of national intelligence.
The director of national intelligence oversees the 17 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community. Since the resignation of Dan Coats in August, there has not been a permanent director of national intelligence; Joseph Maguire has served in an acting role since last year, but on Wednesday, Trump announced he will be replaced by U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell.
This is a position that requires Senate confirmation, and Collins is known for being one of Trump's most ardent defenders, a quality that was on display during the House impeachment inquiry. Collins announced earlier this year that he is running for Senate in Georgia against Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), who was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp (R) to fill the seat vacated by former Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, who resigned due to health reasons.
Collins entering the race has caused infighting among Republicans, and if he is picked as director of national intelligence, he'll likely drop his Senate bid. Prior to becoming a congressman, Collins worked as a lawyer and served in the military as a chaplain. Catherine Garcia
John Kelly is still the White House chief of staff and has made no moves to leave, but that doesn't mean President Trump's not already looking for his replacement.
Over the last several weeks, Trump has been asking current and former advisers and aides what they think about Mick Mulvaney, the conservative former congressman who oversees the Office of Management and Budget and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, Politico reports. Mulvaney and Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, are the two leading candidates to take Kelly's place, should he make an exit, several people said. "No one can imagine what the end of John Kelly looks like," one former White House official told Politico, but "if the president sees plausible people next in line for the job, that does change his calculus a bit."
Mulvaney has reportedly been telling Republicans outside of the White House to put in a good word for him with Trump, and he's gone golfing with the president several times. When former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus was ousted last July, Trump already knew he wanted Kelly to replace him, and he is not that certain now, officials said. "Mulvaney is not a big personality and is not someone everyone in the building will rally around, but I don't see a big personality coming in either," a former administration official told Politico. "Trump takes all of the oxygen in the room." Catherine Garcia