Outgoing acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire should come clean to the American public what happened in the Oval Office between him and President Donald Trump following the briefing with members of the House Intelligence Committee concerning Russian interference in the 2020 election, Rep. Jim Himes said Friday.
"Regardless of what happened in the Intelligence Committee, what is of real importance here is what happened in the Oval Office," the Connecticut Democrat told CNN's "New Day." "If the press reports are to believe, the president got extreme and threw a fit with his Director of National Intelligence and people need to grapple with that a little bit."
Himes said it "sort of doesn't matter" if Trump was retaliating against Maguire, because by law, he would have had to replace him by March 11, meaning it was possible that the shift to Ambassador Richard Grenell as already in the works.
"What really matters is the story that's out there that says the president shouted at his Director of National Intelligence because of an intelligence conclusion," said Himes, because intelligence community members could come to fear giving honest reports.
"The right answer here is for Admiral Maguire who served a lifetime of standing up for his country and put his life at risk in the Navy for decades, to stand up and tell the American public what happened," said Himes.
Meanwhile, Trump floated Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., as a permanent DNI, and has appointed Ambassador Richard Grenell as an acting director, and Himes said both men are known as being "aggressive" defenders of the president's.
Both also have no experience with the intelligence community, and even though Collins already has ruled himself out, it's a concern that Trump would pick either person, said Himes.
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