Senate committee OKs former Sen. Dan Coats as national intelligence director

Dan Coats
FILE - In this Dec. 31, 2012 file photo, former Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Coats says he will retire from the Senate and won't seek re-election in 2016. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate intelligence committee has voted to confirm President Donald Trump’s pick for national intelligence director, advancing his nomination to the Senate floor.

The committee voted 13-2 in favor of Republican former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats to replace James Clapper, who retired at the end of the Obama administration.

GOP Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina is the committee chairman. Burr says he’s confident his former colleague will help the intelligence community face a wide range of challenges. The committee’s senior Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, says Coats pledged to cooperate with the committee’s investigation into Russian activities during the election.

Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Ron Wyden of Oregon voted against Coats.

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