Trump Reportedly Picks Ex-Senator, Banned From Russia, As His Intelligence Chief

President-elect Donald Trump has reportedly selected former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats to be director of national intelligence, according to several media outlets. NPR has not confirmed the pick.

In choosing Coats, he is getting a veteran Washington establishment figure — a senator, former lobbyist and ambassador to Germany — with a rare distinction: being banned from Russia.

Coats’ views on Russia after its annexation of Crimea, and his calls for stronger sanctions as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, landed him and other senators on Russia’s banned list.

It’s a major difference with the president-elect, who has praised Putin and cast doubt on U.S. intelligence conclusions that emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign officials were hacked at the direction of the Russian government.