Senate confirms Trump’s pick for national intelligence chief

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FILE – In this Jan. 23, 2017, file photo, National Intelligence Director nominee, former Indiana Sen, Dan Coats waits for the start of a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. on Capitol Hill in Washington. Partisan discord is seeping into House and Senate intelligence committee investigations of the Kremlin’s interference in the […]

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump’s choice for national intelligence director.

Senators voted 85-12 Wednesday to approve the nomination of former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, making him the fifth person to hold the post created after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Coats replaces James Clapper, who retired at the end of the Obama administration.

As the Trump administration’s top intelligence official, Coats will oversee 16 other intelligence agencies that have been harshly criticized at times by Trump president for past failures and their assessment that the Kremlin interfered in the election to help him win.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Coats will be an effective director and also would restore credibility to the U.S. intelligence community.

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