President Trump’s new acting Director of National Intelligence Ricahrd Grenell, widely reported as a staunch Trump loyalist, has already begun to clean house and has ousted the No. 2 official.
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) blasted Trump’s new pick during a recent appearance on MSNBC, claiming “Richard Grenell is basically an internet troll. He’s a loyalist to the President, and he is not qualified to hold this position even for a single day.”
The Hill reports President Trump’s new acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell, has already made major changes at the agency, including ousting the No. 2 official.
Former acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire and his deputy, Andrew Hallman, resigned on Friday. According to The New York Times, Grenell told Hallman, who has worked for national intelligence and the CIA for three decades, that his service was no longer needed.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) praised both Maguire and Hallman for their service after their resignations were announced.
“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.”
Of Hallman, Burr added he appreciated “his extensive knowledge of intelligence matters and his deep respect for the men and women of our [intelligence community].”
The Times also reported that Grenell — who was only officially tapped into the role on Thursday and who says he will not be the nominee for the full-time role — also made a slew of his own new hires on Friday, including an expert on Trump conspiracy theories.
One hire is Kashyap Patel, a senior member of the National Security Council and former top aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the former House Intelligence Committee chairman. Patel was a lead author of a 2018 memo that accused FBI and Justice Department officials under former President Obama of overstepping their surveillance authority ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Patel has reportedly been given permission to “clean house” at the agency.