08:05 GMT29 March 2020
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    The US president has also thanked outgoing Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire "for the wonderful job he has done", adding that "we look forward to working with him closely, perhaps in another capacity" within the Trump administration.

    US President Donald Trump on Wednesday named Richard Grenell, the American ambassador to Germany, as the next acting director of national intelligence.

    Grenell will replace Joseph Maguire, a retired US Navy vice admiral, who is currently serving as the acting director of national intelligence. Grenell will also become the first openly gay Cabinet member.

    In August 2019, then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats stepped down from the position following several disagreements with Trump over assessments involving Russia, Iran and North Korea.

    In August, Trump announced that Maguire would replace Coats.

    Coats, who is a former Republican representative and Indiana senator, became director of national intelligence at the start of Trump's presidency in 2017. Previously he had also been the US ambassador to Germany. Coats publicly criticized the president’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and told a Senate panel he didn’t believe North Korea would give up nuclear arms despite Trump’s talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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