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Reports: Trump To Nominate Former U.S. Senator As New Intelligence Chief

Former Senator Dan Coats has previously served as U.S. ambassador to Germany (file photo)

U.S. media are reporting that President-elect Donald Trump intends to nominate former U.S. Senator Dan Coats (Republican-Indiana) to be his director of national intelligence.

Coats, 73, is a former U.S. ambassador to Germany under President George W. Bush who recently finished finished a six-year term in the U.S. Senate.

Several media outlets -- including the New York Times, USA Today, and The Associated Press -- cited unidentified sources in the Trump transition team as confirming Trump's intention to nominate Coats.

The pick is expected to be announced as early as January 6, the New York Times reported.

The reports come amid Trump's standoff with the U.S. intelligence community, led by current Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, over an alleged Russian cyber campaign aimed at meddling in the U.S. presidential election that Trump won in November.

Trump has publicly questioned the assessment by Clapper and the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies he oversees that top Russian officials ordered cyberintrusions that resulted in Democratic party e-mails being leaked during the presidential campaign.

Russia denies any involvement in the leaks, which were widely seen as having damaged Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton, in the election.

If nominated, Coats would have to be confirmed by the Senate before assuming the post.

Based on reporting by the New York Times, AP, USA Today, and Reuters