Updated, 7:48 a.m., with Trump’s appointment of Maguire, and at 1:03 p.m. with new comments on Hoekstra
President Donald Trump has named Joseph Maguire acting director of national intelligence (DNI). Maguire is the current director of the National Counterterrorism Center.*
I am pleased to inform you that the Honorable Joseph Maguire, current Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, will be named Acting Director of National Intelligence, effective August 15th. Admiral Maguire has a long and distinguished….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2019
Former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Holland), President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the Netherlands, had been considered for the post, CNN reported. On Friday morning, Trump reportedly complimented Hoekstra while speaking to the media in Washington, but did not say if he would nominate the former congressman for the permanent post.*
“I like Hoekstra a lot,” Trump said, as reported by the Detroit Free Press. “He’s great. He’s doing a fantastic job in the Netherlands right now.”
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats has said he’s stepping down on Aug. 15.
Trump’s first choice, U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), withdrew earlier this month amid reports that he had falsified his resume. Other possible nominees were NSA Director Mike Rogers — a former U.S. Navy admiral, not the former Michigan congressman — and former Georgia Republican U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.).
Hoekstra jumped on the Trump bandwagon during the 2016 campaign, tweeting a photo with him eating McDonald’s during a day of Michigan campaign stops. Hoekstra was considered a safe choice for the DNI post, since he’s already been confirmed by the U.S. Senate, according to CNN. He serves as ambassador to the Netherlands, where he was born.
Great day with Team Trump. Grand Rapids and Macomb were awesome. Great momentum. pic.twitter.com/BawJJuMu0v
— Pete Hoekstra (@petehoekstra) November 1, 2016
Time had a frank assessment of Hoekstra in 2017: “His appointment to ambassador was met with some disdain in his native country, as some of the former Republican congressman’s conservative ideals — including opposition to same-sex marriage and gay rights — run contrary to what most in the highly progressive country believe.”
In 2017, he faced controversy while speaking on a panel when he was confronted about anti-Muslim remarks in which he claimed there are “no-go zones” in the Netherlands. Although Hoekstra claimed it was “fake news” — a favorite Trump attack — a Dutch TV interview surfaced with him saying it. He later apologized.
Prior to that, Hoekstra was an executive with furniture-maker Herman Miller. He was elected in 1993 to represent the 2nd Congressional District in West Michigan after primarying U.S. Rep. Guy Vander Jagt, longtime chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
In 2009, Hoekstra tweeted details while traveling to Afghanistan and Iraq, raising national security concerns, which he dismissed. He announced his retirement in 2010 to run for governor.
That year, he lost in the GOP primary to Rick Snyder, who would go on to serve two terms as governor. Hoekstra also was trounced by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) in the 2012 election, where his China-themed ad was denounced as racist.
After leaving elected office, the Holland Republican joined two Washington, D.C., law and lobbying firms, Dickstein Shapiro and Greenberg Traurig. Hoekstra also was named a fellow at the conservative D.C. Heritage Fund think tank.