Donald Trump is considering abolishing the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, according to a new report from The Intercept, citing an adviser to the US president-elect and senior intelligence official.
The news comes just two days after the current intelligence director James Clapper’s submitted his resignation letter to the House Select Committee on Intelligence. The director had said in several interviews during the past year that he would resign at the end of President Obama’s term in office. Clapper reportedly said, it “felt pretty good” to submit his resignation.
Trump’s national security team has been meeting this week and planning how it might remove the position from the US federal government, according to The Intercept report. The team has been looking into how it would fold different parts of the organisation into 16 federal intelligence agencies that it currently oversees. The decision would undo a key recommendation of the 9/11 commission.
Trump has already reportedly picked three hard-line conservatives to lead his national security and law enforcement teams. Retired Lieutenant General Mike Flynn, who has made controversial statements about Muslims, was reportedly offered the post of national security adviser; US Senator Jeff Sessions, who was deemed too racist to be a US federal judge, was selected as attorney general; Representative Mike Pompeo, a sharp critic of Hillary Clinton during the congressional investigation into the 2012 Benghazi attack, was selected as Trump’s CIA director.
It’s still unclear how to Trump would break apart the DNI if he chooses to. The cabinet-level position was created in 2005, after the 9/11 Commission recommended establishing the position to fix major intelligence failures that occurred in the lead up to the September 11 terrorism attacks. The office was created as part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, so a new law would have to be passed in order to undo any provisions.