In naming Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe to be Director of National Intelligence, Trump ignored a warning from Republican Sen. Richard Burr, the chairman of the intelligence committee, according to Congressional aides familiar with the matter. Burr told the White House last week that the move would inject more partisan politics into the work of the intelligence agencies, said the sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter.

The 2004 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) stipulates that the DNI must have “extensive national security experience”. Ratcliffe was a prosecutor and politician in Texas and has served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for only seven months. Coats and his predecessors in the job all had years of experience in the intelligence community, overseeing it, and serving as U.S. ambassadors.