James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence and the nation’s top intelligence official, who role was cast in the spotlight in the aftermath of the Snowden NSA revelations, submitted his letter of resignation on Wednesday evening, ensuring that President-elect Donald Trump will have the option to build his own network of intel leaders.
“I submitted my letter of resignation last night, which felt pretty good,” Clapper told a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday morning. “I have 64 days left and I would have a hard time with my wife for anything past that” he said cited by The Hill.
Clapper has long promised to leave his job at the end of President Obama’s term in office, so his resignation was expected. Still, the formal resignation brings the longtime intelligence official’s government career to a close and leaves a key vacancy for Trump to fill.
Clapper took the helm overseeing 17 intelligence agencies in 2010, and served throughout the majority of Obama’s presidency. His tenure was marked by the revelations of Edward Snowden, whose leaks about U.S. intelligence shook up the community like nothing in a generation.
He had previously spent more than 30 years in military intelligence positions and leading the National Imagery and Mapping Agency.