In the wake of several attempted terrorist attacks and recent quarrels with the White House, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair said May 20 that he will resign at the end of May. Several media outlets are reporting that the move was not voluntary, and that President Obama had asked Blair to step down.
During his 16-month tenure, Blair continually clashed with CIA Director Leon Panetta, who tried to limit the size and power of the director’s staff, according to The New York Times. Blair was also highly critical of the expansion of the CIA’s covert activities program, which he felt contributed to the nation’s tarnished global image.
Meanwhile, several Republican lawmakers said that Blair is being used as a scapegoat to cover up the failures of other members of Obama’s staff, Fox News reports.
"Blair’s resignation is the result of the Obama administration’s rampant politicization of national security and outright disregard for congressional intelligence oversight," said Representative Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.).
"Dennis Blair was the one person you could count on for rationality among Holder, Napolitano and Brennan—and he’s the one the president let go."
Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence James Clapper is said to be the leading candidate to replace Blair.