Trump names new acting head of national intelligence

In this file photo taken on May 30, 2019 US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell awaits the arrival of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (not in frame) at Tegel airport in Berlin. (AFP Photo)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, will become acting director of national intelligence, a move that puts a staunch Trump ally in charge of the nation's 17 spy agencies, which the president has only tepidly embraced.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday named U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell as acting director of national intelligence.

"I am pleased to announce that our highly respected Ambassador to Germany, @RichardGrenell, will become the Acting Director of National Intelligence," Trump said on Twitter.

"Rick has represented our Country exceedingly well and I look forward to working with him. I would like to thank Joe Maguire....for the wonderful job he has done, and we look forward to working with him closely, perhaps in another capacity within the Administration!" he wrote.

Maguire has served in the role since August after taking over the acting post on Aug. 15, when Dan Coats stepped down.

Trump's pick for the permanent job is subject to confirmation by the Senate.

Maguire is required by law to leave his position before March 12.

Earlier in the day, The New York Times reported the new assignment, citing three people familiar with the matter, saying Grenell is a vocal Trump loyalist and would be the first openly gay cabinet member.

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