U.S. President Donald Trump has nominated a retired senior Central Intelligence Agency analyst with expertise in Africa as the spy agency’s new deputy director, the White House said on Wednesday.
Trump, who has repeatedly questioned a U.S. intelligence assessment that Russia conducted an influence operation to swing the 2016 election in his favor, tapped Vaughn Bishop to be the agency’s second-in-command to CIA Director Gina Haspel, the announcement said.
The Senate must confirm Bishop, an Indiana native who retired from the agency in 2011 following a 30-year career in which he rose to senior positions. These included the top intelligence analyst for Africa and the vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council, which produces top-secret assessments for the president.
After his retirement, Bishop worked as a consultant on a CIA reorganization initiative.
If Bishop is confirmed by the Senate, the agency would be led by a career officer from its clandestine service – Haspel – and a career officer from its analytical branch.
Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Editing by James Dalgleish