- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Vice President Mike Pence had to talk Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats out of resigning from the Trump administration over his frustrations with the president, according to a new report Tuesday.

Mr. Coats’ relationship with President Trump allegedly strained following requests by Mr. Trump to find evidence he was wiretapped by former President Barack Obama. The president also called on Mr. Coats to publicly criticize the intelligence community and even accused him of leaking top secret info, officials told NBC News.

The reported breaking point for Mr. Coats, a former Indiana congressman, was Mr. Trump’s decision to remove troops from Syria and the resignation of former Defense Secretary James N. Mattis.

Mr. Pence reportedly had to talk Mr. Coats out of handing in his resignation letter and implored him to stay until at least the end of the summer.

The vice president has allegedly also urged Mr. Trump to stay behind Mr. Coats, who the president calls “Mr. Rogers” whenever he’s frustrated with him, the report said.

Mr. Coats said in a statement that he’s “proud” to serve the president, adding these allegations are “frustrating to repeatedly be asked to respond to anonymous sources and unsubstantiated, often false rumors that undercut the critical work of the Intelligence Community.”

Mr. Pence did not respond to comment.

• Bailey Vogt can be reached at bvogt@washingtontimes.com.

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