Intelligence chief nominee puts cyber threat at top of concerns

Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), the nominee to head the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. (Loree Lewis/TMN)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the nation’s intelligence services placed cyber threats at the top of his list of challenges facing the new administration during a Tuesday appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Republican Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, nominated to be the Director of National Intelligence, listed cyber threats, “radical Islamic terrorism,”  China’s “troubling regional activism,” and North Korea’s nuclear arms and missiles as the major challenges facing the United States.

Coats pledged to back an investigation into any Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election, saying that while Russia has historically meddled in foreign elections the nation appears to “have stepped up their game.”

“It’s publicly known and acknowledged and accepted that Russia did try to influence the

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