Representative Doug Collins (R., Ga.) on Thursday said he would not accept the post of director of national intelligence if it was offered to him by President Trump, and added that he plans to remain in the Georgia Senate race.
“This is not a job that’s of interest to me at this time, and it’s not one that I’d accept,” Collins said on Fox Business. “Everybody knows I’m a supporter of the president, they know how much I supported him through sham impeachment and everything else…but I’m running against a senator who was just newly appointed who decided to support the president three weeks before she got the appointment.”
Collins’s comments came almost immediately after Trump told reporters he was considering nominating the Georgia representative for national intelligence director. If the Senate confirmed Collins, that would remove him from the special election against Senator Kelly Loeffler (R., Ga.).
In December, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, appointed businesswoman Loeffler to the Senate seat vacated by Johnny Isakson, who resigned due to health issues. Kemp bucked President Trump and allies who wished for Collins to take the seat, reportedly because he believed Loeffler would appeal to suburban and women voters.
Collins, a staunch defender of Trump throughout the House impeachment inquiry, decided to challenge Loeffler in an intra-Republican battle for the Senate seat.
“The shortsightedness in this decision is stunning,” the National Republican Senate Committee said in a statement in January. “All [Collins] has done is put two Senate seats, multiple House seats, and Georgia’s 16 electoral votes in play. The NRSC stands firmly behind Sen. Kelly Loeffler.”