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How Trump’s new intel chief stacks up against predecessors

Politics

In this photo taken Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump’s envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Ambassador Richard Grenell listens Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic during a press conference after their meeting, in Belgrade, Serbia. Grenell urged the new Kosovo government to abolish punitive tariffs on Serbian goods that have blocked negotiations between the two Balkan rivals. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

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President Donald Trump’s new acting director of national intelligence is facing criticism that he doesn’t have the right experience for the job. Richard Grenell is the American ambassador to Germany and he’s served as a spokesman in various roles in government. But he has little background in intelligence or in running the sprawling bureaucracy of the nation’s 17 spy agencies.

Here is a look at U.S. directors of national intelligence and their qualifications for the job:

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Appointed by Trump:

RICHARD GRENELL (acting)

—Ambassador to Germany, spokesman for four U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations

—Press spokesman for: members of Congress, a former San Diego mayor and a former New York governor

RETIRED VICE ADM. JOSEPH MAGUIRE (acting)

—Director of the National Counterterrorism Center

—Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command.

DAN COATS

—Former Republican congressman and senator from Indiana

—Ambassador to Germany

MICHAEL DEMPSEY (acting)

—Deputy director of national intelligence

—Career at CIA, including deputy associate director for military affairs

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Appointed by President Barack Obama:

RETIRED ADM. DENNIS BLAIR

—Commander of U.S. Pacific Command

—34-year Navy career, director of the Joint Staff, Rhodes scholar

DAVID GOMPERT (acting)

—Deputy director of national intelligence

—Special assistant to President George H.W. Bush, senior director on the National Security Council, senior positions at the State Department, special assistant to then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger

RETIRED AIR FORCE LT. GEN. JAMES CLAPPER

—Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, undersecretary of defense for intelligence

—32-year military career

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Appointed by President George W. Bush:

JOHN NEGROPONTE

—Deputy national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan

—Ambassador to Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines, Iraq and the United Nations, and assistant secretary of state

RETIRED VICE ADM. MIKE MCCONNELL

—Director of the National Security Agency under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

—Intelligence officer for Colin Powell, when Powell was Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, and Dick Cheney, when he was defense secretary

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