Top US intelligence official: I submitted my resignation

James Clapper (L), director of National Intelligence, and Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testify during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, February 9, 2016.  / AFP / Saul LOEB  (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
National Intel Chief James Clapper resigns
01:31 - Source: CNN

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Clapper says he's concerned about cyber challenges and countering lone wolf attacks

Clapper was testifying before a House committee

CNN  — 

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the House Select Committee on Intelligence Thursday he had submitted his letter of resignation on Wednesday night.

“(I) submitted my letter of resignation last night, which felt pretty good,” he said before the panel of lawmakers, in response to the top Democrat on the panel joking he hoped he would stick around for another four years.

“I have 64 days left and I’d have a pretty hard time with my wife going past that,” Clapper told California Rep. Adam Schiff, who also paid his respects to Clapper’s service as the hearing opened.

All members of an outgoing administration must submit a resignation at some point.

Clapper’s announcement wasn’t a surprise to those around him and was expected at the end of his term. For months, the intelligence director has been updating those around him on his own personal countdown clock, telling them exactly how many days he has left until retirement.

“He signed his letter as required by all appointed administration officials but is finishing out his term,” said a spokesperson from the Office of Director National Intelligence. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced via Twitter that the resignation will be effective at noon on January 20, 2017.

US faces most challenges now

Clapper’s announcement comes as president-elect Donald Trump’s transition team is trying to hammer out the people who will lead and set the tone for national security agencies during his administration.

Sen.Mark Warner, the Virginia Democrat and incoming vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said Clapper’s announcement “underscores the need for the new administration to move expeditiously in making key national security appointments.”

“As that process continues,” Warner said in a statement, “I hope President-Elect Trump will seek out personnel that embody the same experience, gravity of purpose and service to country that have been a hallmark of James Clapper’s career.”