President Trump said he is considering nominating Rep. Doug Collins, Georgia Republican, as director of national intelligence, but the lawmaker quickly shot down the idea on Friday.
The president made the disclosure to reporters aboard Air Force One on a flight to Las Vegas, Nevada, a day after he selected U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell to serve as acting DNI. He said Mr. Collins is one of several candidates he’s considering.
But Mr. Collins said on *”Mornings with Maria” that he wouldn’t accept the nomination because he’s running for the Senate.
“This is not a job that’s of interest to me, and at this time it’s not one that I’d accept,” Mr. Collins said.
The DNI oversees the 17 agencies of the U.S. intelligence community. Joseph Maguire has served in an acting role since last year, when Dan Coats resigned.
Mr. Maguire was ousted after one of his senior aides briefed lawmakers last week that Russia is trying to influence the 2020 election in favor of Mr. Trump, a move that reportedly blindsided the furious president.
The DNI post requires Senate confirmation, and Mr. Collins gained prominence as one of the president’s prime defenders during the impeachment.
Mr. Collins has announced that he is running for the Senate in Georgia against Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to replace Sen. Johnny Isakson, who resigned due to health reasons.
The prospect of a hard-fought primary is causing some anxiety in the administration, which needs to hold the seat in a closely divided Senate.
* (Correction: The name of the show was corrected in the latest version of the story.)
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