February 28, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing today, U.S Senator Angus King (I-Maine) pressed former Senator Dan Coats, President Donald Trump’s nominee for Director of National Intelligence (DNI), to be impartial, objective and forceful in his role overseeing of the 17 intelligence agencies and organizations that comprise the U.S intelligence community.
“You’re riding a herd on 17 agencies that will always want to be going in different directions and you’re going to be reporting to a president who may or may not want to hear what you have to say,” Senator King said. “Can you assure me that not only are you changing hats when you are going into this job, but you’re going to be hard in terms of your execution in of what I think is the second most important job in the United States government right now?”
Senator Dan Coats committed to Senator King, “As I will say frequently to both the President and to the Executive Branch: You need to fully understand my role. And my role is to provide you with intelligence to formulate policy. Not formulate policy; not be a spokesman for any political decisions that are made.”
The DNI directs and oversees the U.S. Intelligence Community – a coalition of 17 agencies and organizations within the Executive Branch that gather and analyze intelligence in support of U.S. foreign policy and national security initiatives.