WASHINGTON - Sue Gordon, the current deputy director of national intelligence, has announced she is leaving her post on the same day that Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats' resignation takes effect, leaving the top two spots at the agency vacant.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, has been in upheaval since Coats, who had bumped elbows with Trump, announced that he would resign effective Aug. 15.
Gordon, who has been working in the intelligence field for three decades, has decided to walk out the door the same day. Trump said he would name an acting director soon.
....coincides with the retirement of Dan Coats. A new Acting Director of National Intelligence will be named shortly.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2019
"Sue Gordon is a great professional with a long and distinguished career," Trump tweeted Thursday. "I have gotten to know Sue over the past 2 years and have developed great respect for her. Sue has announced she will be leaving on August 15."
Despite Trump's praise, it was clear that she was not going to be named acting director or be nominated to replace Coats as the new director.
Earlier this month, the president nominated Texas GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe, but he removed himself from consideration after just five days amid criticism about his lack of intelligence experience and qualifications for the job.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., said in a statement that Gordon's departure is a "significant loss" to the intelligence community and she had been a "stalwart partner" to the intelligence panel.
"Sue earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues with her patriotism and vision," Burr said.