OFF THE LEDGE

Mike Pence Had to Talk Dan Coats Out of Quitting Over Trump’s Erratic Behavior: Report

Vice President Mike Pence had to talk the country’s top intelligence chief out of quitting his post in protest against Donald Trump’s increasingly erratic decisions, NBC News reports. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was reportedly driven to the edge of resigning at the end of last year after a string of angry disagreements with the president. The final straw is said to have come in December, when Trump abruptly announced the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Syria, which led to the departure of Defense Secretary James Mattis. Coats wanted to follow Mattis, but the vice president reportedly managed to convince his home-state friend and ally to stay until at least this summer. Pence has also encouraged Trump to stick by Coats, current and former administration officials told NBC News, despite the president ridiculing the DNI as “Mister Rogers.” Officials claim the relationship between Trump and Coats has calmed for now—but added that Trump could order the removal of Coats at any time and that Coats has made no final decision on whether to stick around until the summer.