James Clapper Announces Early Resignation
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has announced he already submitted his letter of resignation.
General James Clapper told the House Intelligence Committee that “it felt pretty good”.
He had been expected to step aside, as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to appoint his own officials.
Analysts believe that James Clapper is sending a signal to the Trump administration that they must now speed up the transition.
President-elect Donald Trump has denied that his transition team is in turmoil, despite having only filled two postings so far.
One of Donald Trump’s close advisers, Kellyanne Conway, told reporters at Trump Tower in New York that announcements would be made before or after Thanksgiving, which is one week away.
James Clapper will remain in post until President Barack Obama leaves office.
“I submitted my letter of resignation last night which felt pretty good. I’ve got 64 days left,” he said.
Committee members jokingly asked him to stay for four more years.
James Clapper has authority over 17 different agencies including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and the (Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
More than 107,000 employees report to James Clapper with a combined budget of over $52 billion.
In a profile published by Wired magazine only hours before James Clapper’s announcement, he said that he never questioned the morality of his profession.
In his role, James Clapper has often been in the position of defending the National Security Agency (NSA), just one of the covert agencies that his office oversees.
NSA’s image was badly damaged after Edward Snowden revealed how they collect information on American citizens.
During a 2013 congressional hearing, James Clapper was asked: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions, of Americans?”
“No, sir,” he replied.
“It does not?” the incredulous senator responded.
“Not wittingly,” James Clapper said.
“There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect, but not wittingly.”
On November 17, James Clapper was asked if Donald Trump will open up a rapprochement with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but answered that he does not predict a “significant change in Russian behavior”.
James Clapper, 75, has served in the job for six years after previously working for the US Air Force and the Defense Intelligence Agency.