Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair will be resigning tomorrow from his duties in the Obama administration. A U.S. official told TPMDC that Blair’s resignation is expected tomorrow. The White House has been interviewing “several strong candidates” to replace him, the official said.
ABC’s Jake Tapper broke the story this afternoon. He writes that Obama for weeks “has been holding serious conversations about whether to ask Blair to step down” while looking for replacements.
Tapper reported that after speaking today in the Oval Office, Blair told Obama he would resign. From the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt to sparring with CIA director Leon Panetta, sources told Tapper that Blair’s tenure “has been a rocky one.” More details here.
Late Update: Blair confirms his resignation with this statement.
It is with deep regret that I informed the President today that I will step down as Director of National Intelligence effective Friday, May 28th.
I have had no greater honor or pleasure than to lead the remarkably talented and patriotic men and women of the Intelligence Community.
Every day, you have worked tirelessly to provide intelligence support for two wars and to prevent an attack on our homeland.
You are true heroes, just like the members of the Armed Forces, firefighters, and police whose job it is to keep our nation safe.
Your work over the past 16 months has made the Intelligence Community more integrated, agile, and representative of American values. Keep it up - I will be cheering for you.
Dennis C. Blair
Later Update: President Obama releases a statement of his own.
Dennis Blair has a remarkable record of service to the United States, and I am grateful for his leadership as Director of National Intelligence. Over the course of many decades, Admiral Blair has served with great integrity, intellect, and commitment to our country and the values that we hold dear. During his time as DNI, our intelligence community has performed admirably and effectively at a time of great challenges to our security, and I have valued his sense of purpose and patriotism. He and I both share a deep admiration for the men and women of our intelligence community, who are performing extraordinary and indispensable service to our nation.