Trump wants to shove out his director of national intelligence for someone even worse


The likely replacement for Dan Coats, the current director of national intelligence, is anti-Muslim and dismissive of climate change.

Looks like Trump's director of national intelligence is on his way out, and he may be replaced by Fred Fleitz, a wildly anti-Muslim acolyte of National Security Adviser John Bolton. Fleitz also doesn't seem to believe in climate change.

Fleitz will likely be so bad, people will miss Dan Coats.

Coats is one of those Trump appointees who was supposed to be "the adult in the room." See also: former Secretary of Defense James Mattis and former chief of staff John Kelly. They're the people meant to keep Trump protected from his worst impulses, providing sound guidance in place of blind rage.


Of course, Trump doesn't want any adults in the room. Adults restrict what he can get away with.

Coats has been somewhat of a punching bag for Trump. He learned from live TV, rather than through any rational government channel, that Trump had invited Putin to the White House. When Trump decided to strip former CIA Director John Brennan of his security clearance, Coats was kept out of the loop on that. He even leaned on Coats to get him to get the Russia probe shut down, to no avail.

With this, Coats has occasionally looked like a tolerable person, at least by the low, low standards of the Trump era. He even believes in climate change and told lawmakers that global warming was a national security threat and that climate change would "fuel competition for resources, economic distress, and social discontent."

His likely replacement is much, much worse.

Fleitz, who has applied for the job via the time-honored method of going on Fox to praise Trump, runs a hard-right think tank called the Center for Security Policy. Mother Jones reported that a recent report he wrote for the Center said that over 80% of American mosques are "incubators of, at best, subversion and, at worst, violence."

He also thinks that promoting any interfaith dialogue between Christians and Muslims is the same as "promoting shariah or civilization jihadist agendas."

When it comes to climate, Fleitz was one of the people that urged Trump to drop out of the Paris Agreement because it was a "weak pact" and "represent[ed] unconstitutional abuses of presidential power by President Obama." One is curious if he'll be so against executive orders under Trump.

Fleitz also outright mocks people who are concerned about climate change. Juliette Kayyem, who had worked in the Obama administration, tweeted that Trump had failed to address climate change, "a far greater risk to our lives and economy than ISIS or refugees." Fleitz responded by mocking her concerns and saying, "I'll keep that in mind when North Korea nukes Los Angeles."

Fleitz may sing a slightly different tune now that he may be working for someone who inexplicably worships Kim Jong Un.

Trump is going to continue to surround himself with people like this: ahistorical bullies who just want power. Fleitz is a perfect choice.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.