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The President & the Executive Branch Discuss Dan Coats, the Intelligence Chief, Finds His Voice. Will It Anger Trump? at the Political Forums; His speech on Friday warning about Russia’s continued cyberattacks on the United States, coming hours after the indictment of 12 ...

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Old 07-17-2018, 11:26 PM
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Default Dan Coats, the Intelligence Chief, Finds His Voice. Will It Anger Trump?

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His speech on Friday warning about Russia’s continued cyberattacks on the United States, coming hours after the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers in the election interference and days before the Trump-Putin summit meeting, signaled a more prominent role.

The emergence of Mr. Coats, said a former C.I.A. official, should be a signal for Mr. Trump of what the administration position on Russian interference should be. Still, the official said, Mr. Coats’s newfound outspokenness could draw unwanted attention from the president, who has complained about other cabinet members who displease or publicly defy him.

Jim Mattis, the secretary of defense, has carved out a role where he avoids contradicting the president directly but sticks to establishment foreign policy views, like support for European allies and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, that are at odds with Mr. Trump’s instinctual positions.

Unlike Mr. Mattis, a storied Marine general with a fierce following among current and retired military personnel, Mr. Coats does not have the kind of deep support that could give him political cover.

“Coats is in a precarious position because the president does not take too well to people who disagree with him,” Mr. Turner said. “But he has made the admirable decision to defend the people he leads.”
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We’re seeing this on multiple fronts. The aforementioned failure to ramp up testing, and the ongoing failure to get needed testing equipment to desperate governors, is compounded by Trump’s insistence on claiming that no such testing failure exists — or ever has.
Jeremy Konyndyk, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development
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