Trump asked right-wing conspiracy theorist congressman to help him pick his next Director of National Intelligence
Composite image of Donald Trump and Rep. Devin Nunes, photos by Gage Skidmore.

On Monday, Politico reported that President Donald Trump is consulting with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) about who he should consider to replace Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.


Nunes has led the Republican side of the House Intelligence Committee since 2015 and chaired the committee for four years, despite having no professional qualifications of any kind for that role. Since 2017, he has been known for his stunts and conspiracy theories intended to discredit the Russia investigation and throw suspicion on anyone who looks into Trump's conduct.

He authored a shoddy memo claiming the FBI lied to gain surveillance warrants, traveled to Britain to try to dig up dirt on MI6 veteran and Trump dossier author Christopher Steele, and faced an ethics investigation for allegedly giving reporters classified information to try to embarrass the intelligence community. His most recent noteworthy project is suing a fictional Twitter cow for saying mean things about him.

Coats, who previously served as a Republican senator from Indiana, is one of the only remaining members of Trump's original national security team, and is widely regarded as one of his most effective people. But the president has clashed with Coats on political matters, to the point that he is now ready to fire him.