Former US Senator Dan Coats is Trump's pick for director of national intelligence

WASHINGTON, Jan 5 (Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday picked former U.S. Senator Dan Coats as his director of national intelligence, two senior transition officials said, as he puts his own stamp on a U.S. intelligence community that he frequently criticizes.

The official announcement was expected this week as Trump makes decisions on some of the remaining major positions he must fill as he prepares to take over the White House on Jan. 20.

Related: Trump's official picks for cabinet and cabinet-level positions

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Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions
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Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions

Counselor to the President: Kellyanne Conway

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Veterans Affairs Secretary: David Shulkin

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Transportation secretary: Elaine Chao

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Energy secretary: Rick Perry

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Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson

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Secretary of Defense: Retired Marine General James Mattis

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Chief of staff: Reince Priebus

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Chief strategist: Steve Bannon

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Attorney General: Senator Jeff Sessions

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Director of the CIA: Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo

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Deputy national security adviser: K.T. McFarland

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White House counsel: Donald McGahn

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Ambassador to the United Nations: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley

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Education secretary: Betsy DeVos

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Commerce secretary: Wilbur Ross

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Homeland security secretary: General John Kelly

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Housing and urban development secretary: Ben Carson

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Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

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Health and human services secretary: Tom Price

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Department of Homeland Security: Retired General John Kelly

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Secretary of agriculture: Sonny Perdue

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Coats, 73, is a traditional conservative from Indiana who just finished a six-year term in the U.S. Senate. He was also a U.S. ambassador to Germany for Republican President George W. Bush.

Two senior transition officials said Trump had chosen Coats. Separately, a source close to the transition said Trump had also considered New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for the job but that Christie had chosen not to take it.

Some U.S. Intelligence officials on Thursday welcomed Coats' selection, saying they hope his appointment was a sign that Trump was seeking to mend fences with the intelligence community after months of enmity over its assessment that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election through hacking.

One official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a domestic political issue, said he also hoped that if he is confirmed, Coats can negotiate what he called "a truce" between the intelligence community and Trump's choice for national security adviser, the former Defense Intelligence Agency director, retired Army Lieutenant General Mike Flynn, who was fired by the current director of national intelligence, James Clapper.

(Additional reporting by John Walcott; Editing by Peter Cooney and Jonathan Oatis)

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