The Washington Post reports:
President Trump told reporters Thursday evening that he was considering Rep. Douglas A. Collins (R-Ga.) as his permanent Director of National Intelligence. The move would not only fill a post that has not been permanently filled since Daniel Coats resigned last summer, but would help Trump and his fellow Republicans avoid what is already shaping up to be a messy intraparty fight for the Georgia Senate seat, where Collins is running against Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) in the party’s primary.
Collins is just one of several candidates he’s considering, said the president, who spoke to reporters as he flew from Colorado to Nevada as part of a four-day swing out West. Earlier this week, Trump announced that Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, would replace Joseph Maguire as the acting intelligence director. But both Trump and Grenell have said he is not expected to become the permanent chief, a post which requires Senate confirmation.
Trump replaced the previous acting DNI chief in a rage after hearing that he’d advised lawmakers about Russia’s ongoing efforts in support of his reelection. Collins, as you surely recall, gained a high profile for his prolonged rants during the impeachment hearings.
UPDATE: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Rep. Doug Collins rejected the idea of becoming the permanent director of national intelligence on Friday, after President Donald Trump said he could tap the Georgia congressman to the post and spare Republicans of a nasty intraparty fight against U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
He said while it was “humbling” that Trump floated his name Thursday as a potential nominee to the coveted job, he is determined to continue his challenge to Loeffler, a wealthy business executive tapped to the position in December.
“This is not a job that’s of interest to me at this time, and it’s not one that I’d accept,” he said in a morning appearance on Fox Business, before questioning Loeffler’s allegiance to Trump.