WASHINGTON — The nation's top intelligence officer, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, announced he will resign today after months of friction and repeated duels with White House officials.
The retired Navy admiral gave no reason for his departure in his public statement, nor did he express thanks to President Obama for the opportunity to serve in his administration.
After a series of attempted terrorism attacks and intelligence breakdowns that included the 13 shooting deaths last year at Fort Hood, Texas, and the failed Christmas Day airline bombing attempt, Obama's confidence in Blair had suffered, several officials said.
A U.S. official indicated that Obama had asked Blair to resign, saying that a job search was well under way. The official requested anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly.
"Dennis Blair has a remarkable record of service to the United States, and I am grateful for his leadership as Director of National Intelligence," Obama said in a statement Thursday evening.
Blair has served as director of national intelligence since January 2009, and has provided Obama with his morning intelligence briefing most days of the week.