Trump fires Intel Director after he refuses to manipulate Russia findings

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On July 28, Donald Trump announces that August 15th will be Dan Coats’ last day as Director of National Intelligence, the role that oversees all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. The decision seems abrupt and without cause, however…

Earlier in July, a draft of the 2019 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) circulated around the Intelligence community. An NIE is the “most authoritative class of top-secret document” that judges the greatest threats to our national security. The document is written based on the most solid findings of the Intelligence community.

This first draft of the NIE included intelligence that Russia was again operating in support of Trump, as well as helping prop up Bernie Sanders (most likely to further divide the Democratic party like Russia did in 2016).

According to multiple officials who saw it, the document discussed Russia’s ongoing efforts to influence U.S. elections: the 2020 presidential contest and 2024’s as well. It was compiled by a working group consisting of about a dozen senior analysts, led by Christopher Bort, a veteran national intelligence officer with nearly four decades of experience, principally focused on Russia and Eurasia.

The New York Times

Once the draft reached the White House, a staff member asked Coats to change the language of the NIE so that it would be less clear whether Russia supports Trump’s re-election campaign. Coats refused, and Trump announces he will be out of his position in a couple weeks.

In September, a second draft is distributed throughout the Intelligence community. In this draft, the language is changed.


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