Director of National Intelligence nominee Dan Coats testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee today. Here are the key takeaways:
- He would cooperate with the committee on their Russia hacking probe, including by providing intelligence community cables, sourcing, and other raw intelligence.
- He would be willing to investigate Russia's interference in U.S. elections — and in elections around the world.
- He supports keeping Guantanamo Bay open.
- He will seek to release the number of Americans currently being surveilled by the NSA.
- Coats said his goal is to have an apolitical intelligence community:
If confirmed as DNI he would oversee 17 U.S. intelligence agencies amid investigations directly affecting the Trump administration, including the probe into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence.
History: Underlying this is Coats' less-than-harmonious relationship with Russia- the Kremlin placed him on a sanctions list in 2014.
Note, the former Indiana senator would be the first DNI who has not had a career in intelligence or diplomacy.