Rick Bowmer, AP Photo, file

Report: Utah Rep. Chris Stewart is contender for top intelligence post in Trump administration

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Updated - Feb. 12, 2020 at 8:55 a.m. | Posted - Feb. 12, 2020 at 8:12 a.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — Chris Stewart, the Republican representative of Utah’s 2nd Congressional District, is being considered for a top U.S. intelligence position in the Trump administration.

White House officials are pushing President Donald Trump to nominate Stewart, 59, for the director of national intelligence position, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

Currently serving in the position is Joseph Maguire, who was previously director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Maguire became the acting director of national intelligence in August after Indiana Republican Dan Coats resigned.

Maguire can only serve as acting director until March 11, per federal law, the Times reports. After that point, Trump could nominate Maguire, Stewart or another candidate who would then need to be confirmed by the Senate.

Stewart’s office did not offer a comment to the Times.

In a statement sent from his office to KSL.com Wednesday, Stewart didn't confirm he was being considered for the position and did not acknowledge the Times report.

"I am only focused on my work in Congress and serving the people of Utah’s Second District," Stewart said. "I remain committed to representing my constituents and addressing the issues that first brought me to Congress, such as our debt and spending and rebuilding our military."

Stewart has represented Utah’s 2nd district, which includes part of the Salt Lake Valley and large portions of western, central and southern Utah, since 2013. He is currently a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

Stewart has been a loud and consistent supporter of Trump through his presidency, including during the impeachment inquiry and trial.

At a forum in Utah last month that included several GOP members of Utah’s congressional delegation, Stewart called the impeachment claims against Trump “nonsense” and criticized the process.

“If you don’t like this president, go defeat him at the ballot box. And by the way, this president is going to win reelection in 2020, and it’s going to be a beautiful thing,” Stewart said.

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