UPDATED 1:20 AM PT — Monday, February 18, 2019
One of President Trump’s closest allies is suggesting the president may be considering firing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
In an interview Monday, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy said he spent the weekend with the president at Mar-a-Lago and spoke with a number of White House aides on several topics.
Ruddy said sources told him how disappointed the president was about Coats’ threat assessment of North Korea during a hearing with lawmakers last month. He said it appears Coats is trying to make his own policy with his intelligence instead of following the president’s diplomacy.
Ruddy then suggested North Korea may be looking for new leadership ahead of his next summit with Kim Jong Un.
“He doesn’t tell me whose he’s going to dismiss or not,” stated Ruddy. “I have talked to various people, not him, that are very close in the White House with the security positions the president is taking, and I think generally there is a concern that on the eve of the North Korea, to have your director of National Intelligence in open hearings under-cutting your position was very bad form.”
Coats’ report said that North Korea was not giving up their ballistic missile program or its ambitions for a nuclear weapon.
President Trump has continued to say Pyongyang has ceased its provocative actions, and is complying with the agreement made in Pyongyang last year.