James Clapper, the National Intelligence Director, announced Thursday that he turned over his letter of resignation to President Obama on Wednesday, notifying him that he would not be staying in his position into the Trump Presidency. Clapper, who has said in multiple interviews over the past few months that he was looking forward to stepping down at the end of Obama’s time in office, nixed rumors that he might be staying past Trump’s inauguration. The director confirmed during a testimony to the House Select Intelligence Committee Thursday morning that he has indeed turned in his resignation and feels “pretty good” about it after 50 years of service to the country.
“(I) submitted my letter of resignation last night, which felt pretty good,” Clapper, who is also a retired lieutenant general in the Air Force, said.
“I have 64 days left and I’d have a pretty hard time with my wife going past that,” he added.
A spokesperson from the Office of Director of National Intelligence said: “He signed his letter as required by all appointed administration officials but is finishing out his term.”
Clapper took the role of National Intelligence Director in August of 2010, just two months after President Obama announced his nomination of Clapper saying that he “possesses a quality that I value in all my advisers: a willingness to tell leaders what we need to know even if it’s not what we want to hear.” He was the fourth person to ever be appointed to the position.
Clapper has spent much of his time as director defending and cleaning up the image of agencies like the NSA after Edward Snowden leaked information about just how much intelligence was being collected on Americans and foreign governments.
Just hours before the announcement of his resignation, Wired published a profile piece of “America’s top spy” where Clapper discusses the morality of spying as a means to protect national security.