New acting national intelligence director Joseph Maguire (Picture: PA images).
USA

New Acting US National Intelligence Director Named

Joseph Maguire, the nation's top counter-terrorism official, will become acting director on 15 August.

New acting national intelligence director Joseph Maguire (Picture: PA images).

New acting national intelligence director Joseph Maguire (Picture: PA).

US President Donald Trump has named a new acting National Intelligence Director as part of a leadership shake-up at the bureau that oversees 17 spy agencies.

Joseph Maguire, the nation's top counter-terrorism official, will become acting director on 15 August, the same day National Intelligence Director Dan Coats' resignation takes effect.

That will also be the same day that Deputy National Intelligence Director Sue Gordon will be walking out the door.

Democrats have accused Mr Trump of pushing out two dedicated intelligence professionals.

Mr Trump tweeted:

"Admiral Maguire has a long and distinguished career in the military, retiring from the U.S. Navy in 2010.

"He commanded at every level, including the Naval Special Warfare Command. He has also served as a National Security Fellow at Harvard University. I have no doubt he will do a great job!"

Mr Coats also praised Maguire, saying in a statement that he "has had a long, distinguished career" and will lead the intelligence community with distinction.

It is unclear if the president, who has had an uneasy relationship with the intelligence agencies since he took office, plans to also nominate Mr Maguire to formally replace Mr Coats.

After Mr Coats announced his retirement late last month, the president nominated Texas GOP Representative John Ratcliffe to be the new director of national intelligence.

But Mr Ratcliffe removed himself from consideration after just five days, amid criticism about his lack of intelligence experience and qualifications for the job.