President Trump is considering tapping New York financier Stephen A. Feinberg to lead a broad review of U.S. intelligence agencies but said Thursday that such a move might not be necessary once his team is fully in place.
Speaking at a news conference, Trump said that Feinberg, a longtime friend, had “offered his services,” then added: “It’s something we may take advantage of, but I don’t think we’ll need that at all.”
The consideration of Feinberg, a co-founder of Cerberus Capital Management, comes as the new president has cast aspersions on the work and integrity of the U.S. intelligence community. The prospect of bringing Feinberg on board was first reported by Reuters.
Earlier Thursday, administration officials said an arrangement with Feinberg had not been finalized, but they characterized him as someone Trump greatly respects and admires. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a possible move that has not been announced.
Trump has nominated former Republican senator Daniel Coats (Ind.) to be director of national intelligence, but Coats has not been confirmed. By statute, that person has oversight of U.S. intelligence agencies and is the president’s primary contact.