Counterterrorism Head Joseph Maguire Tapped as Intel Chief

WASHINGTON (CN) – President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to announce Joseph Maguire, the current director of the National Counterterrorism Center, will be the next acting director of national intelligence.

Joseph Maguire, the head of the National Counterterrorism Center, has been nominated by President Donald Trump to be the next acting director of National Intelligence.

Maguire will take over the agency Aug. 15, the same day as current director Dan Coates’ leaves the post.

“Admiral Maguire has a long and distinguished career in the military, retiring from the U.S. Navy in 2010. He commanded at every level, including the Naval Special Warfare Command. He has also served as a National Security Fellow at Harvard University. I have no doubt he will do a great job!” Trump tweeted.

Maguire boasts 36 years of military service and was a former vice admiral of the U.S. Navy. He was confirmed to his current position in 2018, when he expressed a love for service, along with committing to uphold the center’s integrity and objectivity.

“I spent over three decades serving our nation. I had to look no further than my own family to learn the value and honor of public service,” Maguire said during his 2018 confirmation. “I come from a community where service above self is expected and that there is no greater honor than to lead.”

The announcement came almost an hour after tweets by the president announced the resignation of Sue Gordon, principal deputy director of national intelligence, also effective Aug. 15. Gordon was poised to move into the position after Coates resigned in late July.

“Sue Gordon is a great professional with a long and distinguished career. I have gotten to know Sue over the past 2 years and have developed great respect for her,” the president tweeted.

Recently, Gordon has advocated for transparency in the intelligence sector, saying on the podcast “Intelligence Matters” in July that the public should have more access to intelligence officials.

“And what that means is, intelligence has to be made available for those decision-makers, whether it’s the populace – ‘You all are being duped,’ – or the private sector – ‘You all are having your secrets stolen,’” Gordon said. “You need to make different decisions. And we need to give you information so that you can make different decisions. And that is a big leap for us, culturally.”

Gordon’s resignation marks the third shift in the office since the end of July. Trump has often had a contentious relationship with the intelligence community, clashing with Coates about issues on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Announcing Coates’ resignation on Twitter, Trump then nominated Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas. Days earlier, Ratcliffe grilled former special counsel Robert Mueller during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, on the legality of writing the second volume of his investigative report into the 2016 election.

As Democrats grilled Mueller on the evidence suggesting that Trump had obstructed justice, Ratcliffe argued the section of Mueller’s report devoted to the president amounted to improper “prosecutorial commentary.”

Three days after his nomination, Ratcliffe withdrew via Twitter, saying he was grateful to have been nominated by the president. Trump said in his own tweets that Ratcliffe was resigning due to possible scrutiny from the national media.

“Our great Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe is being treated very unfairly by the LameStream Media,” Trump tweeted. “Rather than going through months of slander and libel, I explained to John how miserable it would be for him and his family to deal with these people.”

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence did not immediately respond for comment.

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