Top intelligence official Sue Gordon is leaving the Trump administration, President Trump announced in a tweet late Thursday, meaning the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is losing its two top leaders at a critical time for American intelligence operations. Gordon announced she will leave Aug. 15, the same day as her boss, Director of National Intelligence.
Mr. Trump also said National Counterterrorism Center director Joseph Maguire will be named as acting director of national intelligence. Gordon had been floated as possibility to replace Coats.
Coats issued a statement Thursday praising Maguire, whose nomination follows the withdrawal of Mr. Trump's original pick, Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas.his name following media scrutiny over his qualifications for the role.
Mr. Trump praised both Gordon and Maguire.
"Sue Gordon is a great professional with a long and distinguished career," the president tweeted. "I have gotten to know Sue over the past 2 years and have developed great respect for her. Sue has announced she will be leaving on August 15, which...coincides with the retirement of Dan Coats. A new Acting Director of National Intelligence will be named shortly."
The House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff called Gordon's departure a "devastating loss to the intelligence community."
"It will be up to the Congress to ensure that the Intelligence Community continues to provide independent analysis and judgement to policy makers, and always speak truth to power," Schiff said in a statement.
It's still unclear who will fill the role of acting director of national intelligence. The president had selected Rep. John Ratcliffe to assume the post, but after publicized criticisms about hisand critics' concerns that he might exhibit partisan behavior in the office, from consideration.
The top ODNI departures come as former special counsel Robert Mueller says Russians are currently meddling in the upcoming elections, and as the nation faces domestic terrorism concerns, among other pressing threats.