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US intelligence chief resigns

Mr Clapper (left) served in the Obama administration for six years. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has submitted his letter of resignation, he has told a congressional panel.

He told the House Intelligence Committee that “it felt pretty good”.

BBC reports that the 75-year-old top American spy had been expected to step aside, as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to appoint his own officials.

Analysts believe that he is sending a signal to the Trump administration that they must now speed up the transition.

Mr Trump has denied that his transition team is in turmoil, despite having only filled two postings so far.

One of his close advisers, Kellyanne Conway, told reporters at Trump Tower in New York that announcements would be made before or after Thanksgiving, which is one week away.

Mr Clapper will remain in post until President Barack Obama leaves office.

“I submitted my letter of resignation last night which felt pretty good. I’ve got 64 days left,” he said.

Committee members jokingly asked him to stay for four more years.

Mr Clapper has authority over 17 different agencies including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and the (Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

More than 107,000 employees report to him with a combined budget of over $52 billion (£41.8 billion).