Whenever President Donald Trump goes cold on DNI Dan Coats — who Trump privately sneers at as “Mister Rogers” due to what he perceives as an unwillingness to implement directives — it’s Vice President Mike Pence’s job to smooth both men’s feathers.
According to a Tuesday NBC News report, the breaking point came in December when Trump suddenly decided to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, a decision that pushed former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to quit.
Pence reportedly convinced Coats not to follow suit until at least the summer. He said that two top defense officials leaving at the same time would be too tumultuous for the administration.
The relationship between Trump and Coats fractured early, when Coats was unable to hide his annoyance at Trump’s insistence that he was wiretapped by the Obama administration. Apparently, Coats’ inability to control his facial expressions has repeatedly landed him in hot water with the thin-skinned President.