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The Vice President’s Ceremonial Office

2:12 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, good afternoon.

On behalf of the President of the United States, today it will be my great privilege to administer the oath of office to Senator Dan Coats, who will become the fifth Director of National Intelligence for the United States of America. (Applause.)

This is a singular privilege for me as I have known Senator Coats now for more than 30 years and couldn’t be more grateful for his willingness to continue his service to the United States of America in this vitally important role in the life of our nation.

We’re joined this afternoon by his wife, Marsha, his son Andrew, his daughter Lisa. And we send greetings from afar to his daughter Laura, who is watching from Louisville, Kentucky, I know with great pride in her father and in her parents and their continuing service.

Also very honored to be joined today by a member of the intelligence committee in the Senate, Senator James Lankford, and the newest member of the United States Senate, Senator Luther Strange. Thank you both for being here for this occasion. (Applause.)

Senator Coats, you come here today after a long career in public service. In our home state of Indiana, you served with great distinction — first answering the call to serve our country in uniform in the United States Army. You would be elected to the United States Congress in 1980, serving four terms in the House of Representatives, and then decade in the Senate, followed by four very distinguished years as the United States Ambassador to Germany.

You arrived literally — your second day on the job was September 11th, 2001. And in that moment of crisis for the United States and crisis in the world, you played a leading role in marshalling European support for our nation in that dark hour.

Although you tried to retire from public service in 2005, you failed — just as you have again. (Laughter.) And you ran for the United States Senate in 2010 and served another term, serving on the intelligence committee. You chaired the joint economic committee, adding to the more than a decade that you served on the armed services committee in the United States Senate.

Throughout all of your years, you represented not only the state of Indiana well, but you represented the interests of the United States with extraordinary integrity and commitment.

From one Hoosier to another, I’m grateful and proud for your service to date. And I know that President Trump is grateful and proud of your willingness to serve our nation at such a time as this.

The President has called you to serve this country as our Director of National Intelligence. As you know from your many conversations with him, President Trump has no higher goal than the safety and security of the American people, and from this day forward, as Director of National Intelligence, you will bring your background, your experience, your integrity, and the relationships that you have built around this nation and around the world in integrating and improving the best intelligence community in the world to be even better still.

The President and I have absolute faith in you. You’ve served our country with distinction for decades, and the President and I are confident that you will continue that record of leadership, integrity, and devotion to this country in the days ahead.

And so, on behalf of President Trump, it is my great privilege to administer to you the oath of office.

(The oath is administered.) (Applause.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Ladies and gentlemen, the Director of National Intelligence for the United States, Dan Coats. (Applause.)

DIRECTOR COATS: Mr. Vice President, thank you for a more than generous introduction. But more importantly thank you for the many years of friendship with you and Karen, for your service in the House of Representatives, on the leadership in that House, for being an outstanding governor for our cherished Hoosier state, and now being awarded the great privilege of being Vice President of the United States.

To know you, to know who you are, to be so proud of our friendship, so proud of you in terms of your leadership, and being part of the team that’s going to do everything we can to keep America safe, to keep America prosperous, to keep America being the America that serves all Americans, the kind of country that is recognized around the world. I’m deeply grateful for your leadership with that.

These are clearly uncertain times. It’s so wonderful to be supported by a wife of many, many years who is — and at my right-hand side — counselor, supporter, a faithful companion; by our daughter Lisa; by our son Andrew; and our daughter Laura, who is in Louisville, Kentucky watching hopefully this procedure.

These are clearly uncertain times, but I inherit an intelligence community made up of men and women who have dedicated their careers and their lives. It’s a 24/7-365-day operation. And it is designed to protect Americans from threats from home and abroad. It is designed to be the best intelligence agency in the world. It is functioning well, but everyone that serves in that community say we can even do better. It’s a great privilege to be able to be selected to lead that effort and to continue to be the best intelligence service in the world providing our President, Vice President, and policymakers with the needed information they need to inscribe safe policies, good policies, and lead our nation; and in fact, always lead the world as America has done since its founding.

Mr. Vice President, I thank you. (Applause.)

2:20 P.M. EDT