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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 5:10 pm

Braun thinks Coats to remain intel chief

BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun said Tuesday he does not think President Donald Trump will fire Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

"In the case of Dan Coats maybe having a different point of view, I don't think that necessarily means that they don't work something out to where both sides come together," Braun, R-Ind., told news media before an appearance at Purdue University Fort Wayne.

"I don't see any indication that he's headed out. Unless you'd be completely on opposite ends of the spectrum – then I think it would be hard to work like that. I don't think we're there," he said.

Trump friend Christopher Ruddy told CNN on Monday that he believes the split between Trump and Coats over threats posed by North Korea might cost Coats his job. He based his opinion on conversations with unidentified White House sources.

Coats, a former Republican senator from Indiana, told a congressional hearing in January that North Korea "is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities."

Trump later tweeted, "Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!" He also tweeted that the U.S.-North Korea relationship “is the best it has ever been.”

On Tuesday, Trump told reporters that he is in "no rush" for North Korea to denuclearize as long as it does not test nuclear weapons.