Georgia Rep. Doug Collins said he was honored President Trump considered him for the position of permanent Director of National Intelligence, but that he remains committed to running for the Senate, challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler in the state’s upcoming special election.
“It is humbling. It’s amazing to have the president think that much of you, to mention my name among others to be this position,” he told Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo before explaining he has no interest in the role.
“Let me just tell you right now, I know the problems in the intelligence community. This is not a job they that would interest me, not one that I would accept,” Collins added.
“I’m running in a Senate race down here in Georgia. Everybody knows I’m a supporter of the president... I’m running against a senator who...decided to support the president three weeks before she got the appointment,” he said. “Polling down here is showing that we have a candidate down here that could actually put this seat in jeopardy because of the flaws she has....I’m a supporter of this president. I’ll continue to fight for this president...The intelligence community has to get right. I’m sure the president will pick somebody appropriate for the job.”
Trump’s comment about Collins came after he named U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell to serve as acting DNI director.
He said he will nominate “a terrific candidate” for the position soon.
Thank you to our great US Ambassador to Germany, @RichardGrenell, for stepping in to serve as acting DNI. I will be nominating a terrific candidate for the job very soon. Stay tuned!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2020
Some had hoped if Collins got the position it would avoid an intra-party fight over Loeffler's seat. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has been extremely critical of Collins's decision to enter the race, calling it "selfish and shortsighted."
"Doug Collins' selfishness will hurt David Perdue, Kelly Loeffler, and President Trump," NRSC Executive Director Kevin McLaughlin said in a statement last month. "Not to mention the people of Georgia who will stand to bear the burden of it for years to come. All he has done is put two senate seats, multiple house seats, and Georgia's 16 electoral votes in play."