Richard Grenell, President Donald Trump’s newly minted acting director of national intelligence, on Friday quickly began to revamp his office, ushering out its two top administrators, The New York Times reported.
Joseph Maguire, the former acting director of national intelligence, and his deputy, Andrew Hallman, resigned Friday — with Grenell telling Hallman his service was no longer needed, The Times reported.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., praised both for their service.
“For nearly four decades, Joe Maguire has dedicated his career to securing our country, both in and out of uniform,” Burr said. “I’ve valued Joe’s advice and counsel during his tenure as director of National Intelligence and at the National Counterterrorism Center, and I wish him the best.”
As for Hallman, Burr said he appreciated “his extensive knowledge of intelligence matters and his deep respect for the men and women” of the intel community.
The Times also reported that Grenell, who was tapped for the job on Thursday and says he won’t press for a full-time role, also went on a hiring spree of his own, including an expert on Trump conspiracy theories, The Times reported.
Kashyap Patel, a senior member of the National Security Council and former top aide to Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., was a lead author of a 2018 memo accusing FBI and Justice Department officials under former President Barack Obama of abusing their surveillance powers to spy on a former Trump campaign adviser, The Times noted.
Grenell’s tenure may be brief; Trump announced a list of possible nominations Friday for the permanent director of national intelligence.
The shakeup came a day after reports surfaced that Trump had berated Maguire and alleged his disloyalty after House lawmakers were briefed last week on Russian interference in the 2020 election to help reelect Trump.
Grenell has reportedly asked for the intelligence information behind the briefing given to lawmakers.
Trump has since dismissed the reports that the Kremlin is interfering on his behalf in the 2020 election.
On a related note, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a leading candidate to challenge Trump for the White House in November, revealed he was briefed by U.S. intelligence officials about Russian interference aimed at helping him win the Democratic primary.
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