John Ratcliffe is shown questioning former Special Counsel Robert Mueller at the House Intelligence Committee on July 24, 2019 about his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump's plan to nominate the Texan lawmaker to replace Dan Coats as director of national intelligence is highly controversial. Photo: AFP / Alex Wong/ Getty Images North America

US intelligence chief Dan Coats will leave office on August 15, President Donald Trump announced on Sunday, the latest high-profile departure from his turnover-plagued administration.

Trump tweeted that he plans to nominate Representative John Ratcliffe of Texas, who serves on the House intelligence, judiciary and homeland security committees, as the new director of national intelligence.

“A former US Attorney, John will lead and inspire greatness for the Country he loves,” Trump wrote, also thanking Coats “for his great service to our Country.”

Trump has repeatedly clashed with US intelligence chiefs, including Coats, over issues ranging from Russian interference in the 2016 election to North Korean denuclearization and Iran.

Coats’s departure will be the latest in a long series of exits by top Trump administration officials, including defense secretary Jim Mattis, homeland security chief Kirstjen Nielsen, chief of staff John Kelly and top diplomat Rex Tillerson.

– Agence France-Presse

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