FBI Director of National Intelligence James Clapper submitted his letter of resignation on Wednesday. This opens up another position for president-elect Donald Trump and his transition team, which has had a rocky start, to fill. All presidential employees are expected to resign unless Trump invites them to continue, and there’s been no word on whether Trump did so with Clapper, but he is resigning nonetheless.
Clapper had a decorated resume with more than 50 years of service in several federal organizations, but CNN reports that he made no secret of being eager to retire at the end of President Obama’s term. Congressman Adam Schiff touted Clapper’s resume during a session of the House Select Committee on Intelligence:
“Director Clapper, in particular, I want to thank you for honorably serving us since the 1960s, first as an Air Force officer, later as director of DIA [Defense Intelligence Agency], NGA [National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency], under the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, and of course for the last six years of DNI. You took a position that will still very much in the process of formation, and you gave it substantive and effective content, and we’re very grateful for all you have done”
During a meeting with the House Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper said he had no doubts about his resignation, saying it was time to enjoy his retirement. When a Democratic lawmaker joked that he should stick around for a few more years, Clapper didn’t seem to play along, saying, “I submitted my letter of resignation last night. It felt pretty good. I have 64 days left and I’d have a pretty hard time with my wife going past that.”
Clapper’s resignation comes as Trump’s transition team is having some growing pains. Many of his appointments appear to be up in the air, and he appears to be treating it as an episode of The Apprentice.